Skinner: I’m really pleased with the attitude

Monday 09 August 2021 08:15

Manchester United Women’s new head coach Marc Skinner expressed his excitement for the job ahead following his first game in charge of the Reds against Liverpool.

The 38-year-old was in the dugout for the first time on Sunday as United kicked off pre-season with a 2-2 draw against the Merseyside club at Carrington. 

It meant that Skinner, who was appointed at the end of July, had the opportunity to round off his first few days working with the players with another productive exercise ahead of the new campaign. 
Highlights: United Women 2 Liverpool 2 Video

Highlights: United Women 2 Liverpool 2

United Women opened the pre-season schedule with an entertaining draw. Watch the highlights here...

And speaking to MUTV after the game, the former Birmingham City and Orlando Pride head coach gave his first impressions of his new side in action. 

“For us to come in this week and have a couple of days with the players and then go straight into the game was great because I need to assess where we’re at,” Skinner said. 

“And from what I’ve seen, there’s so much quality, there’s so many things we can do that can be wonderful here so I’m so excited to not only be here but to see what our players can do and what I’m going to express to them is that I’m going to continue to support you through every one of your decisions so you can really express yourselves.”
Liverpool did take the lead in our pre-season opener through Leanne Kiernan midway through the first half, but Skinner’s side showed early signs of character in the new era, scoring twice in the space of less than two minutes before half-time, to turn the game on its head courtesy of Leah Galton and Kirsty Hanson. 

Carla Humphrey did get a leveller for the visitors late on, ensuring the spoils would be shared from the pre-season contest, but our head coach was pleased with what we were able to gain from the afternoon overall. 

“There was some really brilliant stuff, like of course, the result is what we’re going to be chasing when we get into the season, but this pre-season is about us gelling, unifying, seeing exactly how we want to play, what people can and can’t do, so that we’ve got a basis to work from.

“We want to continue in the Manchester United way of bringing younger players through so it was great to see them in the final stages of the game, to see what they can do and how they’re going to bring qualities to the team. 

“Overall, I’m really pleased with the attitude to what we’re asking them to do, and we want this team to be super expressive. We want to win, and we want to be super expressive, so it was great to see parts of that and as we get more consistent, we’re going to have such good qualities on the field.” 
Watch Skinner's first post-match interview with MUTV in full, following the draw with Liverpool.

Fixtures against Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion in the coming weeks form the rest of the Reds’ pre-season schedule and Skinner is hoping his players can carry on building on the values shown in Sunday’s game, while continuing to develop match fitness over the coming weeks.

He plans to give minutes to as many players as possible, to ensure the squad is in its best possible shape for the start of the new campaign, next month. 

“We want to see everyone, it’s a fresh start, everybody gets to show who they are and what they can do. For me, it’s about who steps up now. I want to see attitude, I want to see personality – to be at a great club like this, you have to have personality. 

“I think that’s been the key characteristic of any player that has come through Manchester United, their personality to take on the weight of the expectation and I can already see people that want to do that. 

“For us to play with the quality that we want to do with the football brand that we want to, we need that personality and I saw it in abundance in moments in this game.”