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Iain Dowie: Defending with 10 men

So often it gets said that playing against 10 men is harder than 11, but there's a truth to this particular football cliche.

Why is this? Because the team reduced in numbers is forced to adopt a more defensive approach, switching to counter attack football, which can catch out an over committed opponent.

The development of zonal marking also works in favour of the 10 man side, by protecting players from being exposed in a one v one duel.

Rather than getting overwhelmed with protecting your goal, former Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie believes a 4-3-2 formation, with pace in attack is the best form of defence.

"If you go 4-4-1 it can lead to problems when you encourage pressure. If you have pacy forwards, 4-3-2 works very well because of two factors: it allows for the out ball and the midfield three can work together," Dowie explained to FFT.

"If you do get possession, you have got a chance; how many times do you see a team down to ten men grabbing a goal? It’s because sometimes being positive is the best form of defence."

To hear more from Dowie on defending with 10 men hit the play button.

The Freeradio Grass Roots Football Show is the biggest grass roots football event in Europe. For more information on this year’s event at the Birmingham NEC on May 25-27

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