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Gareth Southgate: How to defend set-pieces

“My team always concedes goals at set-pieces. What can we do to prevent this?”
Jason Hood, via Facebook

Gareth Southgate says: 

"When you are marking at set-pieces you have to make physical contact, without conceding a foul. Use your arms to try and block your opponent’s run, or affect it so that they can’t move into space.

When I was a player, Robbie Fowler used to wait for you to look at the ball and then make his move – that’s why you’ve got to be touch tight.

You need a leader to quickly organise: they must make sure everyone is completely switched on and doing their job.

Get your small players on the posts and possibly covering space, depending on how you set your team up – zonal or man-marking.

A mix of the two systems can work well. Put your players that are good in the air on the opposition’s danger men.

The type of delivery – inswinger or outswinger – will determine your starting position. You can defend further out from goal with an outswinger, but an inswinger is more dangerous.

With either delivery you want to make the first contact. The clearance on an outswinger needs power and distance. An inswinger is all about steering the ball away from goal."

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For more football tips see:
Joe Hart: Positioning at corners
Defending corners: The essentials
How to zonal mark from a corner
Rise above the attack