Skinner praises mindset of 'different' United
Manchester United Women’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City highlights the Reds’ psychological growth this season, says head coach Marc Skinner.
United took on local rivals City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and came away with a point, after Leah Galton’s opener for the Reds was cancelled out by Laura Coombs’s second-half header.
Skinner says that the way his players reacted to the draw shows why the team is “a different beast” this season, as United currently sit second in the WSL table.
“I think what it [the draw] shows is the continuing change in mentality,” he told club media after the match.
“At the end we’re not happy with the fact that we’ve only taken a point. We were very disappointed with the goal we conceded. We defended very well up to that point and after that point. And I thought there were some really good standout performances from every player, but the reality is when I see the team disappointed, and they want to win that game [it’s a positive].
“This Manchester United is different. This is a different beast. It’s a team that now believes in what they’re doing fully.
“We’ve had a great first half of the year [and] we’d have love to have taken three points today but when we reflect, we’ll be pleased with that [result].”
Skinner’s side were put under a lot of pressure by the hosts in the closing stages, but United’s backline remained resilient, while the likes of Martha Thomas and Lucia Garcia both came close to clinching victory for the Reds in the closing stages.
“They’re coming off not feeling ‘we’ve defended for our lives,’” continued Marc. “Actually, we could have won that game and we should have won that game.
“As much as the Manchester City team has been good and are historically a top-three team, we have to change our mentality and I’m seeing that in abundance in every player.
“Every game we grow. Every bit of experience we gain, I’m seeing a mindset shift and a change. And so all credit to the players in the first part of the year, and we’ve got lots of work to do in the next part of the year.”
Next up for the Reds is the final Continental Cup group-stage game against Sheffield United, at Leigh Sports Village next Sunday 18 December. United won’t play another league match until 2023, but despite the form of his side in the first part of the season, Skinner maintains the need to focus on each match as it comes.
“We’ve got Sheffield United next before Christmas,” he said. “We’ve got every player who wants to play in that, so we’ll be ready to go again.
“But this team doesn’t want to focus on anything other than just each game. Because we can maximise performances like that.
“For us, we are going to keep focusing and keep churning out this mentality, [to be] the Manchester United that we all love and want to see going forwards.”