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Attacking and recovering with midfielders

When my team attacks the near the opposing teams 18 box, we always seem to give the ball away to the other team and my midfield is never covered adequately. What is the best way to balance trying to attack but still maintaining shape from a defensive standpoint?

Hi Hunter, 

It's vital to make sure you always have a centre-half (deep lying midfielder) that covers when the team attacks. Their positioning in the middle outside the 18-yard box is still an attacking one - they should be available for a pass from the wide areas to act as a pivot to spread the play.

However even more vital is their positioning when the ball is lost. They should be able to cover the centre of the field and be ready to try and slow the play down or even break down the counter attack before they get to the last line of defence. 

Get their mindset to be to not necessarily win the ball back, but to force the attack wide to slow it down and allow for the more advanced players to recover. 

Another aspect that is worth thinking about it when one of your full backs advances up the pitch to join the attack (as is the trend these days) the centre-backs and the full-back on the other side must swing around to cover the space left by the advancing full-back.

When the counter attack comes, this will mean the team will be in a better defensive structure to deal with counter.

I hope this helps!

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