Skinner: We need to add that edge
Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner shared the Reds’ disappointment at only coming away from Sunday’s match at Everton with a point.
The Reds gained a firm grip on the contest as a result too but ultimately let three points slip following a miscommunication at the back which saw Simone Magill equalise in the latter stages for the hosts.
Skinner’s side did produce a fighting response but were unable to take the lead in the game’s closing minutes, making it a second-straight week in which we were unfortunately held to a draw on the road after being pegged back late on.
“It’s really disappointing. We can’t concede goals like that, and we have to have the grit and determination that we all know we want, every time we step on the field,” our head coach told club reporter Lars Magnus Roys.
“I’m not talking that they’re not running, that they’re not working, they’re working hard for each other but it’s the last moment, when I’m running alongside someone, I’ve got to have a little bit of edge.
“I’ve got to have a bit of that resilient toughness to take the ball off the opponent, to force the directional play. And then when we’re in the final third, to run the extra five yards when we need to be there.
“It’s like a teething problem that we’re working towards, and I know the players have everything in them to do that.
“So, we’re going to keep working at it and when it comes, you’ll see that it will be a wonderful thing to watch.”
Despite the result being another tough one to take, the 38-year-old remains encouraged by the work that his players are putting in and is confident that we can turn around our fortunes in the weeks to come.
“It does [give us encouragement]. It has done all season.
“We’re so close but we have to get over this kind of cliff that we have to jump to get to a point where we tackle harder, where we have that grit and determination, where we have that energy, which I see in training.
“But we have to continue to have that. That’s a prerequisite of being in a Manchester United team and a team that wants to go and be successful,” Skinner added.
“So, we’re going to keep dialling that up and keep reminding the players because the quality they have is unbelievable. But we have to make sure we see games out with that grit and determination in both boxes."
For the meeting with the Toffees, Skinner made two changes to his starting XI that was named in our prior outing at Tottenham, with Vilde Boe Risa and Martha Thomas coming into the line-up.
It was a welcome first start for Thomas in a United shirt, following a recent period on the sidelines through injury.
Our head coach says it was nice to be able to bring both players into the team, while underlining the importance of having plenty of options in the squad, particularly with two more matches to come this week, first against Manchester City (Wednesday) and then Arsenal (Sunday).
“It’s great to see both of them. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to get Martha on the field and she has a real threat in that back zone," the boss explained.
“Vilde obviously has a lot of quality on the football, but it’s great to have them back in and we especially need our squad this week because we’ve got three really important games.
“We’ve got to go into the next game with that energy the girls have given from most of the game, and then finish on those little bits.”