‘We are never going to silence any fans from having an opinion,’ says Marc Skinner as fans call for his sacking

Marc Skinner’s Manchester United fell to a 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Lauren James netting the decisive hat-trick against her former club to extend the gap between the two sides to a staggering 10 points.

Hayley Ladd did well to reduce the deficit before the break, but her efforts were in vain as the Red Devils were outclassed by a superior Chelsea side who did well to cope without the injured Sam Kerr, who will be a long-term absentee after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament during the club’s warm weather training camp in Morocco.

Speaking to the media after the match, Skinner voiced his frustration, explaining that ‘it was a big decision in the game. I’ve spoken to the referee and we’re talking about a higher threshold of contact. It’s contact enough for me for a penalty, in my opinion… If we get that, it’s a chance to make it 2-2 and then we’re in the ascendancy.’

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Quizzed on the club’s inferior record this season when compared to last season, Skinner assured reporters that ‘to be clear, I’m not learning on the job. In relative terms compared to Chelsea, we’re still a young team. I am absolutely happy with the players… we need the depth, we need that competition and we need to continue to invest.’

TV cameras picked up a number of signs within the away end calling for Skinner to leave the club as a result of poor form. Asked for his opinion on the signs, Skinner said that ‘we are never going to silence any fans from having an opinion. They pay their hard-earned money. My job is to stay solely focused on what this team is going to achieve in the future.’

‘There’s a lot in this job that could pull you in, pull you down. This game is about opinions and it’s healthy. I have no doubt in what I’m going to achieve with this team... I’m not going to let it drop into my psyche. I’m here as a leader.’

‘I have no doubt where our team are heading. I have no doubt about that. Ten points [behind], I get it. We’ve got ten points to chase and we’ve got the energy to chase.’