Marc Skinner reiterates that ‘pressure is a part of this job’ as Manchester United look to turn the tides on current momentum

Marc Skinner spoke to the media on Friday morning ahead of Manchester United’s upcoming clash in the Barclays Women’s Super League. After two consecutive games on the road, the Red Devils will return to Leigh Sports Village this Sunday to host Aston Villa in the first clash of what is being billed as ‘Super Sunday’.

After falling to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea last Sunday in the capital, Skinner has been barraged with criticism as fans vocally call for a re-evaluation of his managerial position. Despite what was a stellar campaign throughout the 2022/23, it seems that Skinner has failed to meet the towering expectations that have been set for Manchester United in the new year.

Speaking on how he looks to optimise the pressure that continues to pile, Skinner assured that his side will optimise the spotlight in order to gather motivation going as the season heats up.

‘There’s no problem with pressure, pressure is part of this job. It amplifies at Manchester United, but so does the support, you can have it both sides. You can use pressure in certain ways – you can fear and run from it, or you can face in to it.’

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‘If you watched the way my team performed the other night [against Manchester City], yes the result wasn’t what we wanted, but we made seven changes and Manchester City made zero. Manchester City’s frontline have been together for three and a half years plus, and mine are just starting to learn how we tick and connect.’

‘I’m more than happy with where my team is at, I’m so pleased with the players and their attitude and energy. So pressure is a choice, it’s obviously not nice, but we have to make it fuel us rather than run away.’

Controversy arrived in full force during the final group stage fixtures of the Conti Cup on Wednesday night, as Aston Villa fielded a cup-tied player in Noelle Maritz – who had previously played in the competition for Arsenal.

Although Manchester United were not directly impacted by the illegal substitution, the rule break could have serious ramifications for Skinner’s side. The breach heads to a tribunal in due course, and if Sunderland are awarded the three points and Aston Villa retain their spot in the competition, this could see Manchester United fail to progress.

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Skinner spoke on the matter at hand, expressing his hopes that ‘common sense prevails’ as the tribunal comes together.

‘I hope the right decision is made, and that it’s not at the detriment of Manchester United. We’ve done everything that we can to qualify from the most difficult group and I feel that hopefully the right decision is made, and that doesn’t scold Manchester United.’

Perhaps ironically, Manchester United will come up against Aston Villa this Sunday in the Barclays Women’s Super League. The Red Devils currently find themselves in a precarious position, as they now trail the league leader’s in Chelsea by a total of 10 points. Despite the fixture arriving with great significance in regards to Manchester United’s hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Women’s Champions League this term, Skinner was firm in his position that his side will not look to over-correct come Sunday’s clash.

‘I want to be clear on this, we are not going to just try and get a result at the detriment to our performance. Because that’s what gets us results, and that’s what gotten us results so many times last season and so on. So, I think it’s about playing Aston Villa with quality football.’

Manchester United are back in action in the Barclays Women’s Super League this Sunday at 12pm, as they host Aston Villa at Leigh Sports Village.