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Link up play in the attacking third

To break down strong defensive units you need players who can find solutions in the attacking third. Players, who are able to create space, control the ball in tight areas and pick out the killer pass.

An effective attacking force has more than one player who can do this. It has a collection of players who are able to link-up and cut through a back four in a flash. From the stands it looks telepathic, but this understanding has been forged on the training ground.

By knowing your team-mates you know when and where to run, when to pass and how to communicate with just a look or a drop of the shoulder.

To help you develop this kind of sharp, incisive combination play at the business end of the pitch, FFT visited the Nike Academy at St George’s Park.

Assistant coach Edu Rubio ran the team through a simple drill that you can take into your training sessions – all you have to do it watch and learn.

You can find out more about how you can get involved with the Nike Academy, and watch the players’ progress this season, by visiting facebook and

For more football tips:
Play like Spain: Fast combinations: Part one
Play like Spain: Fast combinations: Part two
Play like Spain: Pass under pressure
Play like Spain: Make the killer pass