get midfield and striker to track back

hi everyone i manage a 7 a side team, we are a new u10 team and started playing league games in january, one thing ive noticed in games is my 3 midfielders and striker just give up and dont chase back when we lose the ball which results in being outnumbered at the back, any tips to help with this problem as ive tried to get across to them that we need to get back and help but its still happening. thanks 

  • Hi mate what formation are you playing. I had the same problem when I moved up to 9 aside. I was playing a 332 formation. I countered this by playing them in a 431 formation and putting either a striker or midfielder in defence where they didn’t want to be. As all my players have learnt to play most positions it wasn’t a problem but they soon learnt that they had to chase the ball or be played in a position where they didn’t have to track back too much.  It’s not a punishment but more of a lesson. Needless to say they now all track back when needed and don’t wander round the pitch aimlessly. 

  • I play 2-3-1 so it’s literally my 2 defenders trying to defend against 4/5 players attacking from the opposition,that sounds like a great idea about switching positions they are not used to and see if that works,we are moving to 9 aside soon so hopefully the boys will start putting the effort in to defend. Thanks 

  • No problem. Ya never know one of your mid field or your striker may decide he likes it better in defence thus paving the way for one of your defenders to show his striking abilities. We all know, tell a child not to do something and he will do it. I moved my strongest midfield player into my defence because he wasn’t chasing back and he is now the centre and master of my defence. The defender I moved to midfield is now one of my top scores. During training move them around to different positions and ask them to explain what there new role is. Once they understand there different positions your game will flow a lot easier.  Good luck. 

  • Hi Steve 

    have you tried dividing each halves into thirds in pratice, and ask that if they lose the ball in the oppostions half, then only one player can remain in that third where ball is lost, the others must retreat into next third.

    incentive is if they win ball back in that area they have retreated to, and score within 10 passes then it counts as double