Skinner: We want to build our belief

Saturday 04 September 2021 16:31

Head coach Marc Skinner was delighted with both the performance and the result that his Manchester United Women side produced, in his first competitive game in charge.

The 38-year-old, who was appointed over the summer, saw his side defeat Reading 2-0 in the opening game of the new WSL season on Friday evening. 

Kirsty Hanson and Ona Batlle were on the scoresheet either side of half-time at Leigh Sports Village to ensure the Reds would take all three points from the meeting with the Royals. 

It comes off the back of a successful pre-season for Skinner and co when United Women were unbeaten in four matches, while beginning to develop the values and identity that he wants to see within his team.
Highlights: United Women 2 Reading 0 Video

Highlights: United Women 2 Reading 0

United Women took all three points from our WSL season opener on Friday evening...

Our new head coach was pleased to see connections building both on and off the pitch in those warm-up matches and was even more delighted to watch those continue to grow in Friday’s victory.

“Results will come as part of a process of building something special and we want to build the best team. To do that, we have to build the best togetherness, we’ve got to be connected and that’s what felt the best tonight,” said Skinner, when speaking to MUTV after the match on Friday.

“Two goals, brilliant. Clean sheet, brilliant. Three points, even better. But I think in these early phases, it’s about building that connected belief and that red wave. 

“You can sense from the fans that red wave was already crashing as we started the game. So, it was brilliant from lots of perspectives but there’s still work to do.”
Hanson and Batlle’s goals were no doubt the highlights of the evening and while the Reds emphatically embraced each other on the pitch, Skinner says there was only one way he could truly show his appreciation for those moments.

“Sometimes you just have to stand and clap and that’s what I did because there are moments of team brilliance and then there are moments of that hit being unbelievable.

“Isn’t that why we watch football? For those moments that make us stand up and those tingles on the back of our neck and I sure got one of those when our goals went in.”
Skinner's verdict on victory Video

Skinner's verdict on victory

Marc Skinner was thoroughly impressed with his side, as he enjoyed a winning debut as United Women head coach...

The former Orlando Pride and Birmingham City boss was happy to celebrate his first win in charge but is now keen to switch the focus to preparing for the Reds’ next outing. 

That comes a week on Sunday, when we make the trip to a newly promoted Leicester City side, in the Women’s Super League.

“We have to take every game. I’ve said all along that we will focus on what we need to do for every game. We do not need to look past the Leicester game that’s next, because that will be our sole focus. 

“We have to pay every team the respect that they deserve and that’s what we’re going to do. 

“We’re going to focus on what we can do to exploit the opponent next and that’s Leicester.”