Casey: We have to adapt to Brighton threat
Manchester United Women head coach Casey Stoney has said the Reds must adapt our style for Sunday's WSL clash game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Reds will make the journey down to the south coast in search for three vital WSL points. The battle for the Champions League spots in the league is really heating up with United currently placed in the vital third position, three points ahead of Arsenal who have a game in hand.
Stoney's side will look to build on last weekend's historic 2-0 triumph against West Ham at Old Trafford, in what was the team's first outing at the Theatre of Dreams.
In an exclusive interview with club media, Stoney says she enjoyed the occasion at Old Trafford but her focus quickly turned towards the clash with the Seagulls.
“When I look back at it, it was an historic moment for the team, for the club, for the women’s team to play there for the first time,” she said.
“But I’m straight onto the next game in terms of preparation and making sure we pick up maximum points, moving on towards the end of the season.”
The encounter with Brighton at The People’s Pension Stadium kicks off at 14:00 BST on Sunday. When the sides met at Leigh Sports Village last October, goals from Ella Toone, Alessia Russo and Jane Ross secured a convincing 3-0 win for the Reds.
Brighton go into the second clash with United following a disappointing 5-0 home defeat to Everton last weekend, but Casey is wary of the response that Hope Powell's side could muster at the weekend.
“Sometimes you’re playing against a wounded animal that wants to come out and fight,” Stoney said.
“Obviously, they’ve come out of a big defeat, it’s not a pretty surface down there in terms of the playing surface, so it’s definitely not going to be like Old Trafford. We have to adapt slightly.
”We have to focus on us, we have to focus on what we can do, we have to be hard to beat, we know that. They’re a more direct team than what we’ve played against recently. I think we are prepared, we got a good week’s training and go down there and [will] do everything to get three points.
Women's Highlights: United 3 Brighton 0Video
Before the big defeat last time out, Sunday's hosts had won four WSL games in a row. The side currently sit sixth in the league, and the varied results makes Stoney unsure what to expect from this weekend’s opponents.
“It’s hard to gage. They can lose 5-0 and they can go and beat Chelsea, so it very much depends on which Brighton team is going to turn up,” Casey said.
“They do turn up against bigger teams; they’ve made it difficult for us in the past. I’m sure they’ll make it difficult for us on Sunday. We need to make sure we’re at our very best.”
You can watch a full re-run of the match on MUTV from 16:00 BST.