Skinner: We are growing

Sunday 26 March 2023 10:35

Manchester United Women's boss Marc Skinner has praised the ever-growing nature of his squad's character, following our 4-0 WSL victory over West Ham at Old Trafford.

Goals from Katie Zelem, Hayley Ladd and a brace from Lucia Garcia made it yet another day to remember in M16, as the Reds returned to the top of the WSL table.

With just six domestic games to go until the end of the 2022/23 campaign, Skinner provided his thoughts to MUTV following the game, and first insisted how he felt our performance in the first half was not up to scratch.

What did Skinner say at half-time? Video

What did Skinner say at half-time?

Marc Skinner explains what was said in United's dressing room at the break, prior to a thrilling second-half display...

''I'll be very clear our first half was not good enough,'' he began, speaking to Zarah Connolly and Lindsay Johnson.

''[It was] not a bad performance but not the energy we needed. If you want to win games of football against a really resolute, resilient West Ham, you've got to move the ball quicker and you have to play with the energy that these fans give us.

''We didn't do that first half and we had choice words at half-time as a collective, and they agreed. We saw the outcome second half.''

Blowing the Hammers away in the second half at the Theatre of the Dreams, substitute Garcia was in fine form as she found the net twice in the final 25 minutes of the encounter.

Replacing Nikita Parris in our first swap of the afternoon, Skinner praised the efforts of both Russo and the Spanish international, while also revealing a key conversation he had with the former Athletic Bilbao forward in the build-up to yesterday's game.

Garcia: It was a great performance Video

Garcia: It was a great performance

Fresh from netting a brace as a second-half substitute, Lucia Garcia shares her delight following our win in M16...

''We said to Alessia [Russo] get to your speed, you're not at your speed and your playing [at] half speed at the minute,'' said Marc.

''She did [in the] second half and the difference when she gets to speed, she can pivot under high intense pressure at any point with real small details. She wasn't there but we got that in the second part and [also] when Lucia came on.

''We have had words this week and in a good way, we met up and said look we need that one, that player and she has got this attitude of nothing is going to phase me, keep it because you have a great attitude to do that.

''The reality was I was waiting for that player and we have seen her tonight and that's what I want from her for the rest of her career at Manchester United.''

Finally, reflecting on yet another special day for women's football at Old Trafford - which was also part of Women's Football Weekend 2023 - Skinner paid tribute to those who have paved the way for the sport's current success.

''We are growing,'' added the Reds boss. ''I have a legend of the game next to me and I remember when I was at Birmingham all the times. Linz [Johnson] has seen it grow and how far we have come, for me the foundations lay with all the players have come before.

''Now we have to take that mantle and push it forwards, we have responsibility to do that. So look we have come a long long way, but we must never forget where we have come from as it is important for me and it's something our players know as we have a nice mix of understand that and to be at Manchester United, a special club.

''We have to be special people and give that energy all the time.''