Stoney and Arnot preview United Women v Millwall
With promotion and the FA Women's Championship title sealed, Manchester United Women are looking to end a record-breaking campaign on a high.
On Sunday, Casey Stoney's side hit the road for our final away day of the season against Millwall Lionesses at Princes Park (kick-off 14:00 BST), with the aim of racking up another three points in a stellar season for the Reds. We will be hoping for a repeat of our 8-0 victory over the Lionesses at Leigh Sports Village in November, which included a hat-trick for Mollie Green.
Speaking to MUTV ahead of the game, the boss took time out to praise the players' efforts in a Championship campaign which has only seen United drop points in two games, but she was clear that the high standards must remain going into the final two fixtures of the season.
“It’s great to have won the league with two games to spare,” Casey said.
“There was never any doubt in this group of players that we’d do it. It was just a case of when, really. They’ve worked really hard this season.
”There are two games for them to go and enjoy now, but it doesn’t mean we drop our standards. There are still six points available and we want to take them all. Our standards stay high, we’ve set them new challenges now over the next two games, in terms of what we want to achieve and they want to achieve it too. So it’s about that and we’ll be relentless in what we do moving forward.
Sunday's hosts currently occupy last place in the division having managed just a solitary win to their name over the course of the season, coming against London Bees. Despite Millwall's position at the foot of the table, Chris Phillips' side will remain in the Women's Championship due to there being no relegation from the second tier of the women's game.
Lizzie Arnot, who was on the scoresheet in our title-clincher against Crystal Palace Ladies last week, is confident that the squad will not get complacent after the highs of last week as the former Hibernian winger reflected on her debut campaign in a United shirt.
“We’ve played Millwall before,” the 23-year-old said.
“We know how they play and we’re just hoping that we can continue the form that we’ve had the last few games and get some goals as well.
”It’s been great,
“ she added. ”It’s obviously been challenging in different ways, but that’s what I came here for – the challenge. I’ve enjoyed every minute and yeah, I’m just hoping to push on now.
How United put eight past MillwallVideo
With Stoney's Reds already getting a taste of top-flight football this season with cup ties against Arsenal, West Ham, Everton, Brighton and Reading, Casey and Lizzie are confident the squad have what it takes when we make our top-flight bow next season.
“We've wanted to play WSL football and now we need to make sure we prepare for that,” Casey said.
“We’re going to recruit and we’re going to make sure that the players are ready and they’ve shown that they’re capable already of competing with the sides in that division. Now we need to do consistently, so we will prepare the team to do that.”
Meanwhile, Arnot added:
“We want to play in the WSL and challenge ourselves and that’s the main thing as a footballer. You want to play the best teams week in and week out and yeah, we cannot wait.”
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