Skinner: We’ve got to match the physicality

Monday 28 February 2022 08:00

Manchester United Women manager Marc Skinner believes his side stopped competing with Manchester City in the second half of their FA Cup fifth round at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 defeat.

The Reds deservedly led at half-time, thanks to a Katie Zelem goal, but a strong second-half display from the visitors saw them overturn the deficit and proceed to the quarter-finals.

Speaking to MUTV after the game, Skinner gave his thoughts.

“It is a tough result because we didn’t do enough in the second half to be physically in the game. That’s where we have to be better.

“You cannot win games of football at this level, against this level of opposition, if you’re not going to take those one versus one duels.”

Despite his disappointment at United’s second-half display, the Reds’ manager felt that his side matched Manchester City in the first period.

“In the first half we had [energy and aggression],” Skinner said. “But in the second half we turned them off.

“That’s not acceptable."

The United boss revealed how he plans to address these areas ahead of the Women’s Super League clash with Leicester on Saturday.

He said: “We are going to watch every individual duel [from the Manchester City match] and make sure that we are better at them.

“We are going to train them, practice them, and switch the mentality.

“[In the second half] we parted rather than being the obstacle in their way. We’ve got to match the physicality.”

Katie Zelem opened the scoring for United in the first period before the visitors rallied in the second half.

January loan signing Signe Bruun, who came on after the break for her home debut, agreed with Skinner’s evaluation of the match.

She said: “We have to be strong in the duels, we have to be brave on the ball.

“It is really disappointing for us all. We wanted to win, and we wanted to make it to the next round.”


But the Danish international indicated that the Reds will not dwell on the loss and will instead look ahead to the next fixture.

“We start to focus on the next match now,” she said. “We are going to continue to work hard, be better, and be ready for the next game.”