Some background info is in order.
Ven. Henepola Gunaratana is making use of the Visuddhimagga description stages of mediation:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... on2011.pdfhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visuddhimagga
1. counting (gaṇanā)
2. connection (anubandhanā)
3. touch + fixing (ṭhapanā)
Technically visual sign refers to parikamma nimitta, uggaha nimitta, paṭibhāga nimitta.
Ledi Sayadaw says of connection phase, "When the stage is reached when every out and in-breath is clearly perceived without the aid of counting, when no out and in-breath escapes the attention, the counting must be discontinued and the connection method adopted. Here, the connection method means putting forth effort to keep the attention continuously on the “point of touch,” and to perceive every out and in breath without counting them. It means repeating the effort made in the counting stage in order to make perception clearer and attention stronger and firmer, but without the aid of counting."http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Ledi/Anapa ... asati.html
But that's just one person's take. You'll notice as you read more that there are many different views on how to meditate, the results the come, the philosophy, and so on. My general advice would be to not care so much that you feel you are controlling breath. You are just beginning, so just keep up a practice, and continue learning. In fact there is not even agreement on the point that you should not manipulate it! see: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11494