Skinner: It’s a really special team, I love our energy

Monday 08 May 2023 09:46

Marc Skinner was delighted with Manchester United’s ‘energy’ in our 3-0 win over Tottenham at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

Leah Galton, Alessia Russo and Nikita Parris were on the scoresheet once again in a commanding Barclays Women’s Super League performance.

The results over the weekend see United sitting four points clear at the top of the table but Skinner says he's always looking for more from his players.

“We made it comfortable but I don’t think we were at our very best,” Marc told club media in Leigh, following the full-time whistle.

“I think we gave Tottenham their chances, I don’t think they earned them. I feel like the game plan we had would have easily worked and it was working but we were a little bit naïve at times.

“I am driving standards. I am really pleased with things so far – it’s the most points we have ever received in a season, equalled the best clean sheet record, three goalscorers again, so I am really pleased.

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“There was a lot of magnificent stuff but it would be complacent to say we are at our very best. I want to keep us on our toes.

“I love our energy, we are an energetic team. If we don’t play like that then I am on to them. The points tally is huge, it’s a sign of where we are travelling, what we are trying to do.

“Three different goalscorers again today is so important. It shows we play as a team, we work together as a team, we defend for each other, we attack for each other.

“It’s a really special team. As we progress our players are growing, we can be very dangerous.

Skinner made two changes from the last match against Aston Villa, with Vilde Boe Risa coming in for the suspended Katie Zelem and Millie Turner starting in place of Aoife Mannion.

Mary Earps did not have too much to do during the game, but she pulled off an impressive double save to stop Maya Iwabuchi for getting one back for Spurs.

“Mary's double save was magnificent,” said Marc. “That’s the difference.

"She hasn’t had much to do all game and then she made that double save. We gave Tottenham that chance so she has helped us out.”

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Another player which Skinner praised at the end of the game was Hannah Blundell, who has contributed to what is currently the best defensive record in the league and has been nominated for April's WSL Player of the Month.

“I’ve asked Hannah to try and make that left back position her own,” added Skinner. People probably don’t pick up on her positioning.

“People will pick up when she tackles and when she is aggressive with the ball but she appreciates the space available.

“She knows when to [become] another midfielder, she knows when to drop out and go low or high. She helps us in the build.

“She won’t always touch the ball but as a coach I really appreciate her tactic understanding so we can adapt.”

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With ten minutes to go, Jayde Riviere was brought on for her Manchester United debut, something which fans have been hoping for since she signed in January.

Speaking about the decision to bring the Canada international on, Skinner said: “Jayde made her debut and that’s a huge factor for us.

“We have been using this time to embed her. She is a dangerous player to play against. We have a world class player there.

“She’s a Manchester United fan and she’s now made her debut so we can tick that off for her.

“It’s about building and making sure we inject her at the right time. Ona (Batlle) has obviously played amazing all season.”