Attacking is all about timing
“Going forward is about timing your run. It’s about working with the midfielder in front. When he comes inside, you go around him. If he’s controlled the ball, sometimes you’ll make an overlapping run to take a defender away from him to leave him one-on-one.”
More after the break
Talk when tracking back
“You need to have the energy to get back. You might only get three or four chances in a game to push forward, but you need to make sure you can get back so you don’t get caught out defensively.
“It’s all about timing. When you do go, you need to call another player back into your position. It’s important here to have good communication with your midfield and your centre-back.”
Staying super fit is key as a full-back
“It’s about always working harder than everything else at training and doing extra runs. It’s a position where you’re always on the sprint, so the more you train, the more you can run forward and back and cause opposition headaches. After all, the best form of defence is attack.”
Force the speedy wingers inside
“You have to know what foot he is. You need to know which players are around you. If you can’t beat him with pace, show him the inside. Try to hold him up as long as you can, or force him into the middle where you’ve got midfielders to held you out.”
Know your angles for good crossers
“When handling a winger who likes to cross you need to know your angles, where they are crossing from and what’s the dangerous area. It’s important to get out there quick and early, especially if you know they’re not a great dribbler."
Get hot on the trickster
“With skillful wingers you have to stay close to them. As soon as they get the ball, don’t let them get it under control and really get into them. If they do get the ball under control they become very hard to defend. You need to be on to their first touch and let them know you’re around early, so they think twice later on.”
Hold up the overlap
“When you see the overlap you have to drop off. You need to assess what is the most dangerous situation at the time and try to make them play the ball which is going to be the least dangerous and then wait for a supporting player to help out. Essentially, hold them up as much as you can.”