Skinner provides positive Mannion update
Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner says that defender Aoife Mannion has made a return to team training as she continues to work her way back from an ACL (anterior-cruciate-ligament) injury.
The defender hasn’t played since picking up the problem during a League Cup tie in January but is now edging closer to being available for selection again.
Skinner doesn’t expect her to be back in action for the Reds until 2023, but was enthusiastic about the progress Aoife was making, having been reintroduced to training with her team-mates.
The head coach spoke about the defender while providing a team-news update during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Arsenal, which United approach with a clean bill of health otherwise.
“Even Aoife’s been training, so we have a full squad to pick from."
On Mannion, he continued: “Aoife still won’t be ready [to play until] after Christmas, I imagine, but she’s progressing nicely, she’s in training with the team, albeit modified slightly.
“But yeah, she’s progressing nicely so, hopefully, after Christmas [she’ll be back].”
“It’s hard, you’ve got two sessions before we play. Every player has reported back today, some have been modified, some will be full training.
“We’ve been working and dripping individual parts throughout the week, but I think Arsenal will be in the same boat. We both haven’t had both of our teams for longer than two days and we play pretty early.
“We’ve been trying to drip feed that [preparation] in, trying to educate away from the pitch, as well as on the pitch, because we’ll have literally two sessions.
“We know what we’re preparing for, we’re preparing for a very energetic, very lively, very good team that we’ve got to stop them playing and exploit them with the ball. Hopefully, we can do that on Saturday.”
One of those players who has returned to Carrington following time away on international duty is Maya Le Tissier.
The United defender made her senior England debut on Tuesday evening and Skinner was asked about Maya’s latest achievement during his press conference.
“It’s really special to get your first appearance for your national team at senior level,” Marc said, referring to Maya.
“Again, I’m going to give credit to a lot of the work she’s done, a lot of the work Brighton did with her. We’ve picked her up, asked her to adapt to some things, tried to increase the intensity levels and I think Sarina [Wiegman, England manager] said it herself, she’s very impressed with such a mature person and how much quality she has around the place.
“We saw that talent in abundance and she’s a credit to her family, her country and her club.”
United’s next game after the trip to Arsenal is against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday 3 December – secure your seat at the Theatre of Dreams here!