Skinner issues team news for Villa clash
Manchester United Women head coach Marc Skinner spoke to the media this afternoon, giving an update on his squad ahead of the Reds’ FA Women’s Continental League Cup clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.
The United Women boss confirmed that Rachel Williams and long-term absentee Aoife Mannion continue to recover from their respective injuries, but neither will feature in Birmingham this weekend.
“Only Rach and Aoife [are absent] at the moment,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “Rach will be back in training next week, which is great, so with the international break it then gets her back into the team, and then after that, Aoife is progressing nicely.
“We should see her in the new year, but progressing with the team before Christmas. They’re both doing well, and the medical team are doing good jobs.”
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Skinner offered further insight into the progress of Williams, who was signed this summer after her departure from Tottenham Hotspur Women.
“She’s back doing individual ‘ramping up’ now,” said the United Women boss of the 34-year-old forward. “So our physio will do a lot of individual parts [with her]. They go above and beyond our training schedule so that when they come in, they can come back into uncontrolled play.
“She’ll be ready next week, and we welcome her character and qualities back in. Coming into the game after Brighton, we can look at her being in and around the squad.”
But before the upcoming international break, Skinner’s side must navigate Saturday's tricky away cup tie at Aston Villa, looking to maintain a 100 per cent win record at the start of the 2022/23 campaign.
Ahead of the Villa clash, Marc reiterated that while he may rotate his team selection, “the themes and principles will remain the same.”
“We’re definitely going to have some changes but again, we have a lot of players now who would like to start in our team and have quality,” he said. “Part of the recruitment in the summer was to give us the depth to compete in cup and league more than we could last year.
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United Women centre-back Millie Turner is happy to be back playing after her injury concerns last season.
“The players are earning their right to play, so there’ll be some adaptations, but the themes and principles will remain the same and the way we play will remain the same.
“This will be a tough opponent so we’re not going to take our foot off the gas at all.”