Dugandzic: How to attack out of midfield

Learn how to play like Heart's skilful attacking midfielder Mate Dugandzic

Beating opponents in one-on-one situations

"The distance between you and your opponent, while trying to beat an opponent, is very important. If you are too close, they'll be able to put a foot in. Too far, they'll be able to react.

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"The main focus is trying to get them off balance. Whilst running at an opponent with pace, try to get the defender to move his feet into unnatural positions. Move the ball into positions that you yourself don't find uncomfortable by simply dropping a shoulder. If you're able to get the opponent off balance, the easier it should be for you to get past."

How to execute your favourite skill to beat an opponent

"The ‘scissors’ are probably my favorite, in the sense that you're able to keep up a decent pace whilst attempting the trick. I'd like to think that by facing the goal you'll have an advantage beating your defender due to them having to turn their body around to chase you. Also if you attempt one step over and the defender still remains in a good position, I'm still able to attempt another or assess the situation due to relative ease of the trick."

Creating space to shoot or cross

"There is always plenty of space behind your opposition. If you’re able to get in behind their defence, the more space you'll have at your disposal and the easier it will be to deliver a cross or shot.

"But if you come into situation where the opposition have organised themselves, faking a shot or cross can expose your opponent and they will be drawn into blocking your attempt. If they do 'bite' and try to block your shot or cross, your opponent will be vulnerable. By dragging the ball or tapping the ball past them you should be able to find a small amount of space which is all you need."

Set-pieces, executing a shot or cross from a dead ball

"Every single player strikes the ball differently. If you can, go on YouTube and see how the best players in the world hit set-pieces. Strike the ball how you see comfortable. Repetition is the most important thing on hitting dead balls. The more you are able to practice the more you’ll improve."

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