Paul Ifill: 'Chopping' past opponents

Test your opponent early

"The first time you receive the ball and find yourself one versus one push it past the full-back and have a footrace. This does two things, a) tells you if you have him for pace, b) will make him expect you to do this again next time

"If you win the foot race then it's happy days, no need for tricks today, just push and run him as much as possible."

More after the break

What if he's very quick

"So you lost the foot race? Don't worry, this has happened to better wingers than you or I. It just means you'll have to work a bit harder now. Maybe pretend to push it but cut inside then back outside always keep the ball moving if you can do step overs that may work!

"My favourite is the "chop" which is when you shape to cross or shoot and at the last second you move the ball sharply to the left or right hopefully the defender will have gone for the dummy leaving you free to go on your merry way."

Mix it up

"Be unpredictable for your opponent. I always tell my team-mates if I'm one versus one leave me to it and if I'm one versus two then somebody somewhere must be open so keep your head up at all times! Play one touch when you can, if not then protect the ball and always keep the full-back guessing, sometimes if you've pushed and ran or dribbled at him he'll back off expecting the dribble so maybe it's time to cross early do this a couple of times and he won't have a clue what you're going to do next!"

Be instinctive

"When I receive the ball in the final third my first thought is how can I get the team a goal scoring opportunity. Then I do what I feel is appropriate. Remember every situation is different and especially when dribbling you have to do what comes naturally so by mixing it up and maybe doing a trick or two I'll try and make the opponent face his goal. If you can manage that then he's beaten."

Be a team player

"Unfortunately nowadays being a winger is not just about dribbling and doing tricks. Most good wingers track back and help out the team. Having good communication with your full-back is key, my rule of thumb is to keep tracking until my team-mate tells me otherwise.

"Know if you've done your job hopefully your team will win possession and you'll be in a great position to start a counter attack."

Keep learning

"One of the best lessons I learned as a youngster was to always make two runs to receive the ball. Run short to go long and long to come short. This will give you that space you need to start attacking!

"From early on I was always comfortable dribbling but my crossing was poor so I put in as much extra training as possible to try and improve even now at 33 I'm still learning and striving to become a better player."

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