A fast, direct attack launched immediately upon regaining position.

Counter attacking relies on two important aspects, both of which must be executed at speed. The first step is to transition quickly between defence and attack when your team wins possession. Upon transition the team must attack at speed (often taking a direct route to goal) in order to capitalise on a numerical advantage.

At both steps we need to think and act more quickly than the opposition. If we can transition sooner and then capitalise on that transition there’s a great opportunity for our counter attack to be successful.

As we’ll see in this section, there are many ways to initiate a counter attack. Sometimes we’ll win possession high in the opponent’s half, other times we might sit deep and draw opponents out or maybe we simply react fastest to the ball being turned over.

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Switching play when counter-attacking

by Manuel Pellegrini in Attacking

This session is all about changing the point of attack and switching play in counter-attacking situations. It will help the team get out of trouble when they’re being pressed, allowing them to turn pressured situations into quick counter-attacks. To make this tactic effective, teams must be well organised when attacking. By repeating these practices, the... MORE

Attack and counter-attack

by Jose Gomes in Attacking

This exercise is about attacking and counter-attacking. On one hand it’s about the patience of a steady attacking build-up versus good defensive organization, while on the other hand it deals with quick defensive positioning when faced with a counter-attack. The idea is that the players are able to use both ways of attacking, depending on... MORE

Transition to counter-attack

by Jack Ross in Attacking

Primarily, work on the speed of your team’s transition from defence to counter-attack, but also focus on their reaction to losing possession and the speed of recovery when transitioning from attack to defence. MORE

Passing between and through the lines

by Paul Buckle in Attacking

If your team is set up to pass the ball, use this session to practise passing through and around the lines of defence. It focuses on keeping the ball on the floor, with players encouraged to find positive blind side angles of attack. MORE


by Grant McCann in Attacking

This game is focused mainly on the attacking process so it encourages use of all of the main strengths of the attackers, including their pace and skill. It’s really all about scoring a goal as quickly as possible, and with a time-limited opportunity to score. MORE

High speed counter-attacks

by Neil Warnock in Attacking

The counter-attack is an integral element of the modern game and teams can utilise this tactic to their advantage. This session specifically encourages attackers to make key penetrating movements that are all very realistic to a game situation. MORE


by Steve Burns in Attacking

This is a session that coaches players in how to build up to counter-attacking, and it uses a whole/part/whole method. That means we take on new ideas before breaking them down and revisiting MORE

Quick counter-attacking

by Chris Hughton in Attacking

Use this session is to achieve a fast transition from defence to attack. It covers all aspects of high tempo training – defenders not only have to defend overloads, but the session is also about winning possession and fast forward passing. MORE

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