Winning the ball off the target man

Closing down space is key when trying to win the ball back off the opposing frontman, says former Norwich City boss Chris Hughton

It’s the last five minutes of a crunch game and you're winning 1-0. The opposing team starts to hit long balls to their big number nine and your centre backs are struggling to cope.

Time to shut up shop and hang on for dear life, right? Wrong, says Norwich City gaffer Chris Hughton.

More after the break

There are certain measures you can take to ensure that the opposing team doesn’t have the space to create chances. If your centre backs drop deep then it enables their striker to push forward and stretch the game.

Get your centre backs to press forward, forcing the full-backs and central midfield players to do the same.

In this video, Hughton tells us why keeping a high line and having a positive reaction is all you need to defend against a long ball team.

Also see:
Hughton: Stop the opposition's passing game
Hughton: Last 5 mins and you need a goal
How to make the opposition play the long ball game
Countering a team that press high up the pitch
Playing the offside trap as a full-back: the do's and don'ts

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