Playing out from the back

Starting an attack deep in the defensive third

Sessions that focus on finding ways to retain possession by moving the ball forward. Whereas playing through the thirds looks at short/mid range passing, playing out from the back incorporates longer, more direct distribution of the ball.

The phase of play might begin with the goalkeeper or defenders in possession facing their own goal or down the pitch.

We have a number of sessions on goalkeeper distribution that complement the sessions below.

  • Sessions

  • Skills

  • Tactics

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Forward thinking

by Mick Wadsworth in Attacking

At any level, the ability to attack the opposition with quick, positive forward play can yield terrific rewards. This session requires determined and aggressive forward movement and clever passing, and the key is to always be moving forwards or sideways – so never backwards, and never remaining stationery. If players follow this simple blueprint, we, as a team, have the makings of fast, invasive attacks, which are so dangerous. MORE

Movement to receive the ball

by Matthew Bishop in Skills and Techniques

With the compactness of the modern game, getting your team to exploit space when it’s presented is an essential ingredient for success. This practice develops understanding, cooperation and communication between players so that, wherever possible, they take advantage of the space in front of them. MORE

Keeper’s kicking drill

by Adrian Tucker in Goalkeeping

The platform for success often starts with a comfortable and confident goalkeeper, which is why this practice is designed to enhance the composure of goalkeepers when they have the ball at their feet. It uses situations that vary in space, time and pressure to test ability and decision-making skills. MORE

Deliveries from wide areas

by Mark Warburton in Attacking

The focus of this session is on combination play that results in a crossed delivery from a specific wide area. We play with attacking full-backs and like to work the ball into wider positions from which we can deliver quality crosses into the area. The first ‘pattern of play’ allows us to place players in... MORE

Back three tactics

by Antonio Conte in Defending, Formations and Tactics

Give players the opportunity to defend the box as a three, and move the ball forward, either by playing through the midfielders, passing out to the wingbacks, or playing the ball directly to the forwards through the channels either side of the midfield. MORE

Clever keeper distribution

by Gus Poyet in Goalkeeping

This session is about keeper distribution and retaining possession by building play from the back. It mimics short passes to centre-backs and midfield players, low driven and chipped passes to full-backs and wide midfielders, and longer passes to centre-forwards and wide attackers (through half-volleys and volleys). At Sunderland, the keeper is deemed to have a... MORE

Breaking lines

by Eddie Howe in Attacking

Getting players comfortable when both in and out of possession has been central to my coaching philosophy. I have seen players making huge strides in what they do when mastering the art of protecting or pursuing the ball, and good possession habits ultimately translate on the pitch into other skills. MORE


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