Skinner's praise for a controlled performance

Monday 07 March 2022 14:14

Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner believes the Reds’ performance in the 4-0 win over Leicester City provides the perfect blueprint in how to move forward, after a difficult recent run.

United went into the Women’s Super League game against the relegation-threatened Foxes after three straight defeats, two of which put paid to our domestic cup hopes for this season.

The target now has to be securing a Champions League place for the first time ever, and those hopes were boosted after Saturday’s comprehensive result at Leigh.

First-half goals from Martha Thomas and Alessia Russo set the Reds on the path to victory, before Katie Zelem's two sublime strikes direct from corners added further gloss to the scoreline in a game Skinner felt we dominated.

Skinner: We can’t look for outside factors Video

Skinner: We can’t look for outside factors

Marc Skinner is pleased that the Reds are once again bending games to our will, after the 4-0 victory over Leicester…

“Our players now understand that what we do is in our control. How we act, how we perform, how we give energy – they are all controllable,” said Skinner.

“If you do that, with the talent we have, it puts you in a really good position to dominate games and then you’re in a really good position to get results.

“For us, I’m really pleased with their reaction and their focus, so it’s a really good moment for them, just to reaffirm what the coach always says of course.

“Their action was excellent today and they thoroughly deserved that victory.”

When asked if the players needed a confidence boost after the recent losses to Chelsea and Manchester City (twice), Skinner responded that it’s a quality that comes from within.

“This is what I want to stress: we can’t look for outside factors to give us confidence. Confidence come from your daily action, it comes from your reaction to things. It comes through the controlled mindset.

“You get a choice: how you react to something is your choice and when we take that power back, it gives us chance to do what we did today.

“In possession and out of possession, we were much more proactive and that is key to our successes - staying focused on what we can achieve.”

The possible achievements include qualifying for European football by finishing in the WSL's top three positions, currently occupied by ourselves, Arsenal and Chelsea. 

The Reds moved above Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend as the capital club could only draw 0-0 with Reading - our next opponents this coming Saturday, 12 March. That will be the first of six games against sides below us in the table, before our final-day trip to face Chelsea, Emma Hayes’ reigning champions.

“Once again, when we play Reading, [it's about] what we can control and what can we do to the opponent,” Skinner assessed.

“Once we have that, we’ll be in a great space and we’ll continue to be in a great space. The girls have been excellent all year, we’ve just been in difficult parts at times but we have this quality and this inner belief that we can do what we want to do.

“It’s all about what we can put on the pitch.”