Skinner’s delight for United’s award-winning duo

Friday 08 April 2022 16:49

Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner has credited both Alessia Russo and Katie Zelem after the pair were among the WSL’s award winners for March.

Russo was named the league’s Player of the Month having scored four times across the month, which included her netting a memorable brace in a Player-of-the-Match-winning performance during the team’s Old Trafford victory over Everton. 

Just over three weeks earlier, captain Zelem remarkably netted her third goal in two games directly from a corner, with the latter of those against Leicester City earning the division’s Goal of the Month accolade. 

The duo both played a key role as United went unbeaten in March with three wins and a draw to strengthen our Champions League credentials heading into the closing stages of the campaign.

Skinner praises prize-winning efforts Video

Skinner praises prize-winning efforts

Our head coach shares his delight for Alessia Russo and Katie Zelem who won WSL awards for March...

Catching up with MUTV’s Stewart Gardner during the current international break, Skinner was first asked about Russo’s recent form. 

Off the back of an injury-affected first season at the club in 2020/21, the forward has flourished this campaign and is currently the team's leading scorer across all competitions with 11.

“She’s been great, she’s shown so many qualities. She’s basically developed exactly how we thought she would this season,” Marc explained. 

“She has all of these qualities that we know she can develop and [we can] help her build on them, but she’s the one that’s doing the hard work.

“It’s credit to all the things she’s done at the start of the season, how hard she’s had to fight back from that previous injury and then credit to the coaching staff and the players that help support her in that place.

“I think she’s in a really good space at the minute and thoroughly deserves this accolade.”

Russo has since gone off on England duty with Zelem plus fellow Reds Mary Earps and Ella Toone, so there is no doubt that her focus will be on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with her country, rather than a special month just gone. 

Our no.23 netted in victories over Leicester City and Reading, along with that brace at the Theatre of Dreams which Skinner says she will cherish even more than the award in the long run, having grown up as a United fan.

“I think even though she’s got this award, those will be the awards for her. Those two goals at a place she worships," our head coach added.

Russo named WSL Player of the Month


The England international has been voted the league's outstanding player for March 2022.

“They were different types of goals, both headed, but they showed a lot of maturity, a lot of focus.

“There’s a brilliant picture on one of them, I think it’s the second goal, where it zooms right in to how focused she is on what she has to do in that moment.

“It shows the growth she’s had as an individual and I can’t wait to be a part of that next phase of her development.”

Zelem wins Goal of the Month


Our skipper has beaten several top names to claim the Women's Super League's monthly goal prize.

It was a WSL awards double for United for the third time this season, following on from when Skinner himself won the Manager of the Month award at the same time Ella Toone picked up the players’ prize in December and Leah Galton did in January. 

This time however, it’s skipper Zelem's contribution that sees us double up on the player accolade, after the second of her two 'Olimpico' goals in last month's 4-0 triumph over Leicester was voted as the league's standout goal in March.

“She has a wonderful set-piece ability Katie, she’s obviously our captain and leader, and she does a lot of the ugly parts of the game that you don’t necessarily see,” Skinner said of our no.10.

“But when you get these moments… it’s no coincidence that she can put the ball in those areas. 
Ladies and gentlemen… Katie Zelem! Video

Ladies and gentlemen… Katie Zelem!

Is this a world record? Katie Zelem has just scored three goals from corners in the space of a week…

“What I’m challenging the captain to do is the consistency of those. To say to keep scoring from corners would be ridiculous but keep putting it in the right space at the right time.

“This is where she can have extremely high standards and high expectations of herself. To score that goal, they don’t happen often, but to happen three times in a season, that just shows the skill set.”