Skinner: We need you

Friday 03 September 2021 10:00

Manchester United Women are back at Leigh Sports Village tonight, and after a 583-day wait, so are the fans – and new head coach Marc Skinner cannot wait to have the Reds supporters cheering on his new-look side.

With COVID restrictions meaning all of last season’s home fixtures were played behind closed doors, this evening’s Women’s Super League opener against Reading will be the first game at Leigh with fans in attendance since January 2020.

The anticipation of United supporters from far and wide is shared by the 38-year-old, who will take to the home dugout at the stadium for the first time during the visit of the Royals; his first competitive game in charge. 

Get your United Women v Reading tickets


Our women’s team have got you covered for your Reds fix next weekend, as we kick off our WSL campaign.

And ahead of the match, Skinner underwent another new experience that comes with the job, in penning his first matchday programme notes as the team's head coach, in which he discussed the role our support will play towards any potential success for his new side.

“We’ve spoken as a group about being the ‘red wave’; a wave that crashes against teams, that is relentless. A big part of that ‘red wave’ is you, the fans,” said Skinner, in his first programme column.

“You are the noise and the energy that creates wave after wave. It’s easy for me to sit here and say, ‘we love the fans’, but playing in empty stadiums feels like we may as well be playing training games.

"We won’t always be at our best, but what we need alongside mental toughness and resilience is to hear you.”

The United boss also spoke in his column of the challenge posed by our opening WSL opponents, and his pride at the game being the first to feature on Sky Sports as part of a landmark new broadcast deal.

“Reading are always organised, inventive, creative and difficult to play against. We will not underestimate anything they can do," Skinner wrote.

“It’s also an occasion bigger than this game with the match being broadcast live on Sky. It’s big for those watching and super exciting for us. We can’t wait.

"How many people in the future will say, ‘I watched United v Reading on Sky and that’s why I became a professional footballer’? That’s an amazing thought.”

Are you coming to our WSL opener versus Reading?


Here are six important messages for supporters attending Friday's match at Leigh Sports Village.

Tickets are on sale now for tonight's opening WSL fixture, under the lights at Leigh Sports Village (19:45 BST kick-off) – priced at just £6/£3 concessions. Visit to secure individual tickets, or get a Season Ticket for just £39/£20 concessions!

You can read Skinner's full notes, plus plenty more including Katie Zelem's captain's column and a five-page Hannah Blundell interview, in Friday’s 40-page match programme, available at the ground, and with a free A2 fixtures poster. Alternatively you can read the digital version here.