Marc Skinner

Skinner: We want to put our stamp on Spurs game

Saturday 06 November 2021 10:54

Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner says his side are raring to go ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the WSL.

The 12:15 GMT kick-off will be the Reds’ first league outing in nearly a month following fixtures in other competitions, coupled with the October international break. 

Upon the return of club football, United will make the trip down to the capital looking to leapfrog hosts Tottenham Hotspur in the Women’s Super League table and climb up into the top three with a win.

But that will be no easy task, admits our head coach, who caught up with reporters during his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon. 

Preview: Spurs Women v United Women


Ticket info, team news, plus everything else you need to know ahead of Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off.

Marc says he and his players are preparing to face a tough opponent in the London club, who currently occupy third spot in the table with four wins from their opening five top-flight matches this season. 

They are also coached by someone our boss knows well too, in his former Leicester City colleague and namesake Rehanne Skinner.

“They’ve done really well, they’re reorganised, they’re restructured,” he told reporters via video link.

“I worked with Rehanne at Leicester, I was her assistant for a season, so I know the good work Rehanne does. 

“They’ve got a good togetherness, a good bunch of players with some real top talent in there as well, so it’s going to be difficult, but you want to get ahead and try and put a stamp on the game.

“We have to avoid really fast, sharp counter attacks with their four forwards that try and break your box and then they’ve got a lot of energy in midfield with Ria [Percival] and [Maeva] Clemaron.

“So, it’s going to be a challenge but I’ll let Tottenham decide their fate and make sure it’s a little bit harder for them on Sunday.”

One player Marc will unfortunately be unable to call upon the services in midfield come Sunday is Jackie Groenen, who has returned to the club from the recent international break with a slight hamstring issue.

Other than that, the Reds are likely to have close to a full squad available to select from, and it is a group that has been bolstered on the training pitch recently by returns from injury for both Kirsty Smith and Martha Thomas. The pair are now in contention to make their official comebacks against Tottenham, according to Skinner. 

“Both of them have been back in training, both will be eligible to come back into the squad for the game against Tottenham,” our head coach confirmed in Friday’s virtual press conference.

“They both played, we’ve had kind of a few behind-closed-doors games and they’ve done great. They’ve come through their physical parts so they’re ready now for selection and to help bolster the squad where it’s needed.

United confirm Groenen injury


Jackie has returned from international duty with a hamstring issue and will now enter a period of rehabilitation.

“[A full 90 minutes is too much for both of them] for sure,” he added. 

“They’re both coming back so you manage their minutes. The last thing is you want a spike in their fitness aspects, [for them] to be under fatigue and then potential injury so they’re definitely not ready to start but they’re ready to come into games. 

“We’ve got quite a few coming up that are in condensed spaces so I’m pretty sure they’ll get some start times and minutes in those games.”