Skinner provides fitness update on Naalsund and Riviere

Wednesday 22 February 2023 14:16

Manchester United Women head coach Marc Skinner has provided an update on when January signings Jayde Riviere and Lisa Naalsund could make their debuts for the club.

The pair arrived at United in the winter window but have since been working their way up to match fitness - Riviere is on her way back from an injury, while Naalsund's last competitive action came before the turn of the year.

Ahead of our Vitality Women’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Durham on Sunday – for which tickets are available here – Marc delivered an update on the progress they both are making while discussing the latest team news.

''Everybody will hopefully come back from the international experience in a good, fit manner,'' Skinner told reporters during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

''Some have played like three 90s or close enough, some have played two, some have played one, some have played a little bit of a part, so we’ll have to assess them when they come in, which we would do anyway. 

''I wouldn’t risk anyone that’s not ready for this because we’ve got a lot of games coming up to the end of the season. 

''But what’s really positive is that Lisa was training with the team yesterday, so it’s her first session with the team, she’s looking like she’s in a really good space. She’ll come back in again on Friday and do the technical parts with the team.

''Jayde’s not quite there yet. We’re looking probably the week beyond Chelsea or the week after that for Jayde.''

Marc also went on to explain when we can expect Naalsund to be ready to feature, in positive news for United fans regarding the midfielder.

''We’re hopeful with Lisa that we can progress, our aim is the Chelsea week [12 March]. We’re hopeful we can aim a week earlier than that, she’s looking very good,'' Skinner added.

''We’ve been doing principle work with her individually on the field as well, so she can see how we want her to play. 

''She’s looked exactly like I thought she would, where it’s energy, box to box, physicality. So, she’s in a good space, so hopefully we can see her sooner rather than later.''

Confirmed: When United Women play at Old Trafford


There has been a change to the kick-off time of next month’s WSL meeting with West Ham in M16.

This weekend’s FA Cup tie will therefore come too soon for both, against a Championship side that have taken United to penalties in each of the last two Continental League Cup campaigns. 

Skinner is not overlooking the challenge that awaits his side this weekend at Leigh Sports Village and believes that control will be important for the Reds to be successful on home soil this Sunday.

''We won’t underestimate Durham. I know what qualities they have, we’ve played them twice since I’ve been here. 

''Both games ended in a draw and on penalties so for us, something we have to try and maximise is being at home, that will be different, we’ve not been [against Durham] since I’ve been here. 

''I’m sure the neutrals are hoping for an exciting FA Cup game, I’m hoping for a little more control.''