Katie Zelem training

Zelem: We're focused on bouncing back

Saturday 02 October 2021 09:40

Manchester United Women’s captain Katie Zelem insists that the Reds are determined to immediately get back to winning ways when we face Birmingham City in the WSL on Sunday.

The 18:45 BST kick-off, live on Sky Sports, will be our first outing since last weekend’s 6-1 defeat to reigning league champions Chelsea on home soil. 

Nearly a week on from that loss, our first of the league season, our no.10 is targeting a response during our trip to St Andrew’s, as we look to make it three wins from four games in 2021/22.
Zelem looks ahead to Birmingham Video

Zelem looks ahead to Birmingham

Katie Zelem underlines the importance of United Women getting back to winning ways during Sunday's trip to Birmingham...

Speaking to club media reporter Zarah Connolly in an exclusive interview ahead of Sunday’s match, Zelem praised the attitude of her team-mates in the last week on the training pitch and says the group as a collective are keen to learn from their mistakes. 

“To be honest, it was a difficult result to take but we’ve got a great group of girls and a great group of staff, and I think it’s testament to every single person we’ve got around the group that we want to bounce back,” said the skipper.

“It’s actually been a really good week of training, we’ve put in some good sessions and we’ve reflected on the game and hopefully we’ll see that going forward. 

“It’s a huge responsibility of mine [to pick the team up after a loss], but also all the girls have played a real big part. It’s about lifting each other up, learning from our mistakes and just making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
 
Sunday’s opponents currently sit bottom of the WSL table, but Katie explained that means nothing, and that like every other game in this division, the Reds will have to be on top form in order to get a positive result from the encounter.

“Birmingham are a very hard-working side and they always have been so we won’t underestimate them. Every team in this league brings something. I think you’ve seen results that have already happened this season so far that maybe haven’t gone as you expect. 

“So, for us, it’s about playing to our strengths, staying on top of the game, don’t get complacent, and making sure that we really put everything into it.”

Preview: Birmingham City v United Women article

Ticket info, team news, plus everything else you need to know ahead of Sunday's away tie.

Head coach Marc Skinner backed up that sentiment in his own pre-match interview and says that the Reds want to do everything to put a smile back on the faces of our supporters this weekend. 

"We don’t look at where Birmingham are, we look at what they can do," Skinner said.

"When I look at Birmingham, I wouldn’t say they are in a false position, but they are a very competitive team and we must be at our best to put the best version of ourselves out, regardless of what the opponent is going to do. 

"That’s what we want to give to our fans, because that’s what they deserve. The game is all about us doing what we can as Manchester United to be successful."
Skinner: The fans deserve our best Video

Skinner: The fans deserve our best

United Women's head coach Marc Skinner is targeting a strong performance from his side against Birmingham on Sunday...

The boss also gave the lowdown on the latest team news ahead of the trip to the Midlands, including an injury update on Martha Thomas, which will see her miss this weekend’s game.

"We have Martha Thomas who will unfortunately be out for a couple of weeks, just took a little tweak but nothing too serious and nothing long-term but she will miss the game on Sunday.

"Kirsty Smith is getting closer to being back on the field so hopefully she’ll hit some training with us next week. 

"Then we’ve just been looking a little bit at Kirsty Hanson. She should be fit and ready, she’s missed a training session this week, just with something that happened in the game [against Chelsea]. Apart from that, everybody else is fit and ready."

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