Skinner: We've got to do everything to win it

Monday 15 April 2024 08:59

Marc Skinner was singing his praises for his players after the 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the Adobe Women's FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

The result sees United head to Wembley on for the second year in a row where we will take on Tottenham Hotspur.

Early goals from Lucia Garcia and Rachel Williams set up the Reds for a historic first victory against Emma Hayes’ side, and the Reds defence and Mary Earps performed superbly to get us over the line.

After the final whistle, Skinner spoke to the press about his players, Earps’s saves and what the result means.

Celebrating the victory.


“We needed to do something different today that we hadn't done in. We've opened Chelsea up. Today was about being a little bit more direct, sacrificing a little bit with the ball. Ella [Toone] came up to me at half t-me and said ‘Gaffer, I'm doing donkeys' [work]’ but she knew why.

“It's times like this that you create and it doesn't always happen that way but today it has and the players, the defensive capability of the whole team outweighs attacking half today. That is something we should admire because it wasn't just great football, but great defending also.”


“Chelsea have an incredible squad depth and that brings along its different challenges to manage, of course. You need your players to step up. Mary - that save and again, I'm not comparing it, but there was a David Seaman save a long time ago. It's a clawed out save. That's up there for me with that kind of incredible athleticism and power in your arms to move it and to keep it out and push it away as well.

“It is incredible. And she did it in that big moment. But I also saw Maya Le Tissier, block, Millie [Turner] and Aoife [Mannion] blocking and my midfielders block on the edge of the area. As a collective, everyone was pressing all over the place.”

Mary Earps made some impressive saves once again.


“It’s hard because the balance you have as coaches is you are trying to design what your team look like going forward. So you're trying to design an attacking team. If you don't ever attack in those bigger moments, bigger games like the stadium games, you never see if they can do it and of course, you might risk taking a defeat but there's a there's an adaptation point. You are only going to get punched in the face so many times before you learn to dodge.

“Today we've had to adapt the goal and use different players to do so. That doesn't take anything away from, that's what building the team is. I think we've evolved and it feels good. For me, it's about the players being good and the players are ready and the fans go home happy. It feels good for a longer period than just that one.”

Lucia Garcia opened up the scoring just one minute in.


“I see things that people talk about [Rachel Williams’] role and if you were Chelsea and you're predicting our starting line-up, we knew that would give us an edge from the off. Of course, it's an incredible moment to score so early and set up the game. I get that. But what we wanted to do was give them four real threats and that's not just with the ball, it's without the ball.

“So you saw that, it's the flick, it's being aggressive and then chasing back down. That's how I wanted to start a game. We don't have some of the physical types that Chelsea have, and they can run at times. So we have to be compact and we have the quality.”

Rachel Williams grabbed the second goal of the afternoon.


“Anybody's opinion is their opinion. [People], they might not like how I look, they might not like the colour of my hair. It doesn't matter. I'm here for them. Whether you like me hanging, I'm still going to be the same. Still going to hell. I'm still here to make the team the very best. In the moment, if I can do that for you, you still hate me.

“Doesn't matter because I'm here to produce for you. And that's what I'm here for. The fans. I'm here for the club. I'm here to give my sacrifice for that. I've always been the [same] person through the good times and bad times. We didn't win it last year. We've got to do everything to win it.”


Make sure you come down to Leigh Sports Village on 21 April, and Old Trafford on 18 May, to support United Women in our remaining home games this season:

Sun 21 Apr: Tottenham (12:00 BST)
Sun 18 May: Chelsea (15:00 BST)

You can buy tickets for every United Women's home game here.