Skinner: We keep moving forward
Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner was pleased with the energy and commitment his side showed to take control of Saturday’s contest with Birmingham City.
Skinner was delighted with how his side got out of the blocks to establish an early grip on the game as a whole, against his former club.
Speaking to MUTV's Steve Bennett after the eventual 5-0 win, the head coach revealed that a fast start had been emphasised in his game plan.
“What I think is important is we didn’t even think about what our opponents would do, we thought about what we could do to them.
“We had to start quick because if Birmingham settled into a rhythm and stopped the play, they would grow into the game.
“So, I’m really pleased with the energy, and the commitment to what we had asked for. The right spaces were there, and we opened them.”
After the break, the Reds were not able to match the heights of the first period, but added another goal to complete an impressive victory nonetheless.
Both captain Katie Zelem and double-scorer Leah Galton insisted in their own post-match interviews that there was room for improvement in the performance after the interval, and those words were also echoed by the head coach.
“The second half is something I want us to continue to improve,” Skinner told MUTV.
“There are obviously reasons in terms of it being the first game back [after a break] and so on, but I want us to be more ruthless in the second half too, to really stamp our authority on the whole of the game.
“You can always give your energy and commitment off the ball and when finding the spaces, and I just feel we were a little bit sloppy in the second half.
“But I want to bring it right back to the first half because we’d done enough in that first half to be really, really dominant. And Birmingham changed in the second half, they're not going to open up, they're very savvy. So there were a lot of factors but it's something we'll keep working on.”
The result meant a winning start to 2022 for Skinner’s United side and a continuation of the positive form that his players showed prior to the turn of the year.
It was the Reds’ fourth consecutive victory to nil, and the second successive 5-0 win, following the same scoreline against Aston Villa before Christmas. Six different players have been on the scoresheet across those two games.
“What I think it shows is that this is a team we’re creating,” Marc explained, when asked about the spread of goals.
“We can have wonderful individuals in that team, but we want to be a team. The more we get results and performances like this, you get that sense that we’re moving in the direction we want to be in.
“We’ve still got work to do, lots of work to do and you’re never complete in these ways that you want to play. But we’ve got to keep moving forwards and I think we’ve done that today in great fashion with another five goals and another clean sheet.
“It’s a wonderful return in the last two games- 10 goals for and no goals against. I think it’s four clean sheets on the bounce too so it’s wonderful.”
You can secure your seats now for United Women's next home game, a huge one against Tottenham Hotspur this coming Sunday, 23 January. Kick-off at Leigh Sports Village is scheduled for 12:00 GMT.
Tickets for the historic first United Women match to be played in front of fans at Old Trafford, against Everton on Sunday 27 March*, are available too.
For more info and to book for both games, visit manutd.com/womenstickets.
*Date subject to change.