FM24 Pressing Tactic: The Ultimate Setup Guide

In Football Manager 2024, pressing tactics are a game-changer, allowing you to disrupt your opponents, win back possession, and dominate matches. 

If executed properly, pressing setups can help your team win the ball in dangerous positions, inflicting serious damage to your opposition.

But what are the prerequisites of an effective FM24 pressing tactic?

A successful pressing tactic in FM24 requires Driven players with high Aggression, Anticipation, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, and Work Rate Attributes. 

A Pressing system in FM24 is a high-intensity tactical style demanding players with high stamina and natural fitness levels.

In this article, we delve into the art of pressing, exploring its impact on the game and providing valuable insights to help you implement effective pressing strategies. 

From selecting the right players to mastering pressing triggers and traps, we’ve got you covered. 

Understanding Pressing and its Mechanics in FM24

Pressing is the strategic act of closing down the player in possession, either directly or indirectly, to force a turnover and regain the ball. It differs from counter-pressing, which occurs during the transition when your team loses the ball. 

Coordination and structure are essential, for employing successful pressing traps and triggers.

Trigger Press instruction in Football Manager 24.

Pressing triggers are specific situations that prompt a team to initiate a press. 

Common pressing triggers include poor opposition touches and players receiving the ball with their backs to their intended direction of travel. 

On the other hand, pressing traps are actively encouraged by teams to regain possession. 

For example, forcing opponents to receive the ball on the touchline or onto their weaker foot limits their options, increasing the chances of regaining the ball.

Creating an Effective Pressing Tactic in FM24

Pressing is a powerful weapon in Football Manager 2024 that can elevate your team’s performance and disrupt your opponents’ gameplay. 

To excel in this area, it’s essential to create an effective pressing tactic tailored to your team’s strengths and playing style. 

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Selecting the Right Set of Players 

Choosing the right players is crucial for a successful pressing tactic. Look for individuals who possess the following attributes:

  • Aggression
  • Anticipation
  • Concentration
  • Decisions
  • Determination
  • Positioning
  • Teamwork
  • Work Rate

Additionally, prioritize players with good physical attributes such as Stamina and Natural Fitness, as pressing requires high-intensity effort throughout the match.

Geoffrey Kondogbia of Atletico Madrid is the perfect example of the kind of player you want in your pressing system. 

The right set of attributes for a pressing system.

However, individual pressing doesn’t have much effect on Football Manager. You’ll need your entire team to operate together to successfully execute the trap. Hence, collective teamwork and workrate come into focus. 

Go to the Squad Planner > Report > Comparison.

See how your squad fares up against the other teams of the league in the pressing department. 

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Pressing Shape

Next, we’re going to pick a tactical shape that evenly distributes the players across the pitch to press effectively. 

It means you’ll always have a player in close proximity to the opposition in possession. 

For that, I believe the 4-3-3 will be the best formation for setting up our pressing trap.

4-3-3 formation is the best formation for implementing a high pressing tactic in FM24.

The players in this system are nicely spread out to cover every inch of the pitch. This allows them to have some level of impact throughout the entire field. It allows for the perfect tiki-take style play with high pressing to win the ball back immediately.

The impact of players are equally distributed throughout the pitch in a 4-3-3 formation.

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Player Roles

Let’s take AFC Bournemouth for the demonstration. They are a relegation favorite team who’ll mostly try to restrict the opposition from scoring goals using underdog tactics.

We’ll start by playing a Pressing forward to lead the press from the front.

Dominic Solanke up front is a great pressing forward with exceptional work rate and physical stats.  

For Wingers and Inverted Wingers, we’ll pick Marcus Tavernier and Ryan Cristie who possess robust pressing qualities up front. 

They will support Solanke in the pressing, leading the line of engagement.

Dominic SolankeRyan ChristieMarcus Tavernier
Work Rate171416
Pressing from the line of engagement in Football Manager 24.
Here, my attackers are pressing high to keep the defense under pressure. The opposition right back is forced by Ryan Christie to make a hasty pass to his center-back in a dangerous position despite having better passing options.

In the midfield, I’m going to build a trio of Jefferson Lerman, Phillip Billing, and Lewis Cook to 

contribute to the midfield battle. 

Here are the roles I’m going to assign my midfielders:

  • Jefferson Lerma – Ball-Winning Midfielder(Support)
  • Lewis Cook – Deep Lying Playmaker(Defend)
  • Phillip Billing – Center Midfielder(Attack)

Looking good so far!

The plan is to utilize the aggression and work rate of the Ball Winning Midfielder and Center Midfielder to trigger press while the Deep Lying Midfielder sits deep, holding his station. 

Jefferson LermaPhillip BillingLewis Cook 
Work Rate151516
Midfield pressing trigger initiated in FM24.
My midfield trio along with my wingback is forming a compact midfield and pressing Nainggolan, restricting his progressive passing option.

Up next, it’s time to pick my Defense.

I’ll pick Lloyd Kelly in the left fullback position and Ryan Fredericks as a right wingback. 

Marcus Senesi and Mepham will be my Center Back duo, with Senesi playing as a BPD. 

With a high-defensive line, my center-back duo can effectively win the ball high up the pitch. They will look to compete with opposition target backs aerially and keep the pressure up.

High defending line enables the defenders to press high and win balls quickly.
My center-back duo is stationed high up the pitch to press and win the ball from the opposition attacker. Like in this case where Mepham wins the aerial ball from Boccafoglia.

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Training

Team training can help your team get familiar with the tactical setup and improve overall cohesion in pressing. 

Here are the team training routines to improve your team pressing in Football Manager 24:

Physical: Endurance

Tactical: Defensive Shadow Play

Technical: Transition-Press

Defending: Defending Engaged, Defending Wide, Defending Disengaged, Defending from the Front

Match Preparation: Match Tactics, Teamwork, Match Practice

General: Defending, Outfield, Overall

Training schedules to improve pressing in FM24.

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Team Instructions

For an effective pressing tactic, you need to always implement specific team instructions.

Make sure to adjust the attacking width to ensure a compact shape, allowing players to cover spaces effectively. It can be different based on how you want to set up your traps.

For teams that look to hit early crosses, you might want to shut them up by playing a wider attacking width.

Similarly, to restrict teams from exploiting the central area of the pitch, adopt a narrow attacking width. 

Counter Press in Football Manager instructs the players to immediately apply pressure after losing possession. On the other hand, leaving the instruction to default instructs your team to take a balanced approach and initiate press in selective situations.

Based on your preference, you can prefer any of the two options. I personally prefer leaving the option to default setup.

Keep in mind that despite the team instructions you set, players will be more lenient towards their player roles. 

So don’t expect your Ball Winning Midfielder to sit quietly if your instruction is to regroup after possession turnover.  

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Out of Possession Instructions

This is where you need to be careful with how you approach your pressing game. Depending on your opposition, the pressing approach can be different.

Does the opposition goalkeeper have bad first touch and composure? 

Press the goalkeeper to prevent short distribution! You should look to exploit him by forcing him to play with his weaker foot.

Have oppositions who dwell on the ball for too long?

You know what to do!

Anyways, let me give you some tips for different pressing scenarios. 

For opposition players who love to pass around and play centrally, adopt a high defensive line to press and restrict passing space and intercept passing lanes. 

Look out for long balls though!

Off the Ball team instruction setup for Pressing tactic in FM24.

Your team will trigger press as per the pressing intensity instructed to them. Slide the pressing intensity bar to max if you want your team to press relentlessly.

If you’re facing an opposition playing a wing-play tactical style, restrict their movements on the wing by trapping them inside. 

Having trouble dealing with midfielders dominating the central area? Then force them outside!

If your team is not comfortable defending crosses in the final third, then consider stopping crosses from the Cross Engagement instruction. 

But that can leave your defense stretched through the middle! So make sure you’ve extra cover before setting that up.

Although I mostly prefer playing a Mid-block defense, I turn it up a notch and set my line of engagement to High Press if the opposition is looking to play from the back.

This leads my attacking players to press and restrict the opposition’s defense from building up from the back.

Remember that these are team instructions. That means that your team will collectively look to implement your pressing instructions set in the team instruction screen. 

FM24 Pressing Tactic: Opposition Instructions

You can set up pressing instructions for opposition individuals to focus on specific players. 

It’s a great option in Football Manager as it breaks the restriction of team press and lets you deal with individual opponents in the game.

Look to press and close down the main creators of the team. Try to show them to their weak foot to keep them out of the game. 

Opposition Instruction page in Football Manager

You should look to press players who lack:

  • Pace
  • Acceleration
  • Agility
  • Flair
  • Dribbling

Even if they beat your press, they can’t go much further due to their lack of mobility. 

While players with bad First touch, Composure, and Decisions can also be a primary target for pressing, they are usually not the primary creator of the team. 

However, Press Resistant players with good ball progression ability should be carefully approached as they can be devastating once they beat the press. 

Here are the attributes that make a player press resistant:

  • Agility
  • Pace
  • Acceleration
  • Composure
  • Decisions
  • Flair
  • Dribbling
  • First Touch
  • Technique

Avoid pressing them unless you’ve got equally competent players in your team. 

Parting Words

Mastering FM24 pressing tactics can elevate your Football Manager gameplay to the next level. 


How well your squad executes a team press depends on their team cohesion. So make sure to work on it.

I’ll try to cover the pressing trap in Football Manager in a future blog post. So keep an eye out for that!

What is the best tactic for FM24 Gegenpress?

The 4-3-3 formation is the best pressing formation for FM24 Gegenpress tactical style. This formation is well-balanced to commit too many players to press and win the ball back.

How do you prevent short GK distribution in FM24?

You can use your forwards to press the Goalkeeper to prevent GK distribution. Enable the “Prevent short GK distribution” instruction in the team instruction.

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