Skinner 'shivering with anticipation'

Thursday 20 January 2022 12:28

Manchester United Women head coach Marc Skinner expressed his pride after the Reds beat Arsenal Women 1-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Continental Cup.

Alessia Russo’s late header settled the tie with the WSL leaders at Meadow Park and means we are in the hat for Thursday’s last-four draw, alongside Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s a fifth consecutive win for United across all competitions without conceding a goal and Skinner feels that we are now hitting our stride and starting to bend games to our will.

“You can see probably from my face how it feels!” Skinner told MUTV reporter Mollie Kmita.

'Let’s keep knocking over the small dominoes' Video

'Let’s keep knocking over the small dominoes'

Marc Skinner was proud of his side after the Conti Cup win over Arsenal, but wants focus to remain on the next game…

“Just pride, absolute pride with the work ethic, the togetherness, the commitment to everything we’ve asked. You know we were always in that game to do what we wanted to do.

“What we’re starting to see now is a power from within. We’re not looking at what the opponent can do to us, we are feeling our own strengths. What it does is give you that buzz to go out on the field and be ourselves and express ourselves.

“We were waiting for the results to make us feel that way, even though we knew it was coming. For me, I’m shivering right now with the anticipation of what we can achieve here if we continue to focus on our next task.”

That next task comes when Tottenham visit Leigh Sports Village on Sunday and United can pull clear of the Londoners in the race for a Champions League spot with victory.

Skinner emphasised always looking to the game which lies ahead and ‘living in the moment’ as being a big part of the recent run of form.

“All credit to the players. I think they believe in what we’re doing,” Marc added. “They believe in us but all credit to them, they’ve got to step across the field and do it. We’ve talked about it earlier in our visual in the hotel: to get to our end target – the domino, the big one – keep knocking over the small ones. It will then cascade down and you’ll have what you want.

Highlights: Arsenal 0 United Women 1 Video

Highlights: Arsenal 0 United Women 1

See how the Reds beat Arsenal to secure a place in the semi-finals of the Continental Cup...

“For us I think the belief comes from the fact we’re not looking beyond what Tottenham bring now.

“That really gives you a focus and an energy you can just give everything in this moment and live for today. Live for the moment we’re in and whatever comes afterwards we’ll deal with as a group.”

The Reds are now in with a realistic chance of a first Conti Cup success, having knocked out the Gunners who have arguably been the best team in the country so far this season.

However, again the boss isn’t getting carried away and will apply lessons he learned with previous club Birmingham City, who he took to the FA Women’s Cup final five years ago.

Arsenal 0 United Women 1


The Reds book a place in the Continental Tyres League Cup semi-finals as a late goal sinks the Gunners.

“Unbelievable, but one step closer is just the one step closer. The next task is Tottenham first, but in that cup it’s whoever we draw in the semi-final.

“We won’t look past that, we won’t think about the final. I made a mistake at Birmingham where we made the final too big. We won’t make that mistake.

“All we’re going to do is believe in our strengths, our power, the strong women we have in our group and the things we can do to our opponent. Then our trophies will talk for themselves.”

The Conti Cup semi-final draw takes place at 15:30 GMT on Thursday 20 January.