Marc Skinner explains how key connections helped Man Utd Women regain their form ahead of Arsenal’s WSL game | Soccer News

Since Manchester United Women last faced Arsenal Women in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, they have seen quite the turnaround in form.

Their November 21 game at Leigh Sports Village saw an unstoppable Gunners side win 2-0 as Marc Skinner’s side went to a fourth consecutive league game without a win.

But in the four WSL games since – either side of the winter break – Man Utd have won them all, scoring 15 goals and conceding none. They also had ten more touches in the opposition box per game than any other team while using the fewest players in the league to date.

He catapulted Man Utd into the top three, drawing a tantalizing tie with current league leaders Arsenal on Saturday, live on sky sports. But what is behind such a change of shape?

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports’ WSL senior reporter Lynsey Hooper Skinner said: “I think we first emphasized before Christmas what it meant to be ruthless in both boxes. I remember having these conversations and really, it’s just the players taking in the information.

“Most teams have ways to attack you and some teams are modeled. Some teams are fluid, some teams have players who can create wonderful things, so for us it’s just about understanding what the code could be. key to this game.

“The games before Christmas and after Christmas, we just found a rhythm where we play together more. So our relationship is better, we understand each other better, we know what this player is going to do. I always knew it would take time.

“Speaking of stats, you look at my seasons and as I progress with a team, the more time we spend together the better our results. That’s because we work on connecting the whole team. There’s a focus, there’s a growing trust, and there’s a unity.

“I think those are the real key elements without going into more tactical details for each game, those are the things and the principles that guide us together and get us to where we are now.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between Manchester United and Tottenham

“Going forward, I think what happens is we have these wonderful players who have the ability to take and create those spaces. And that’s key that they spend more time, in taking more keys in that final third, which shows me not only are we getting better in there, but more importantly, it’s the psyche of what we’re asking them to do.

“Go and take our way of playing the opponent, and don’t be afraid of it and embrace who you are. We now have other variants where we can hit the counter attack because we have good wingers in our game, but we also have midfielders who can rotate into those systems.

“So we have more variants, and of course we have Martha [Thomas]Alessia [Russo] and now sign [Bruun] who can play in these areas.

Marc Skinner explains how key connections helped Man Utd Women regain their form ahead of Arsenal's WSL game | Soccer News

She is an absolutely wonderfully talented player. He’s someone in the box who’s already pre-empting the space she needs to succeed so she can absolutely transfer him to any league. That she is coming towards us is a very good sign of the direction the club wants to take and what it is trying to do. We brought Signe to make sure we work as a group that can create for each other.

Marc Skinner in January signing Signe Bruun

“And for me, the game is about connections and relationships. If you and I have a really good, positive relationship, if you fail at any point, I can pick you up.

“It’s those little connections that are a key source for any game. This league is now full of wonderful players and great coaches. But I’ve chosen a really unique group here who really enjoy playing with each other. the others. I think it’s a real key, it’s something that I had to develop and continue to promote.

“Who would I be to deny that? So there’s nothing really inventive about it, it’s just about giving them more time together. That’s why we’re using fewer players, because how do you get- you time together to build this, unless you play together?”

Are Man Utd ready to compete with the ‘Big Three’?

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But for all their recent form, United still tend to struggle against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. They have won just one of their last 12 games against the WSL’s traditional ‘big three’, but Skinner thinks it all comes down to experience.

He added: “I think the difference is that these teams have been doing it for much longer and they have seasons of experience. For us, we have wonderful players, but we are developing that experience.

“Sometimes it’s not nice and sometimes you have to suffer defeat to really know it. It sparks the fire of what you need to do to be there next time.

Saturday February 5 12:00 p.m.

Kick off 12:30 p.m.

“We have to do it our way and I think once we have those experiences and more, we’re going to grow, grow, grow. What I know about this group, more importantly, is that they there is a fire in them. When there is a fire, it is very difficult to put it out.

“We know how difficult this task against an Arsenal team will be. We don’t take anything lightly. But what we do is we believe in each other and we believe in what we are trying to achieve. When you have that, you don’t look at the opponent so we’re talking about these three teams, there are magnificent teams that are not yet in this bracket and are working hard to be there.

“But if we see them as the mountain to climb, I don’t think we’ll ever climb it. It’s about being ourselves and creating our mountain and being who we want to be. Once we have done that, then we will be where we want to be.

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England head coach Sarina Wiegman says the Women’s Super League is one of the best leagues in the world and is only going from strength to strength

“I think we can only really judge ourselves against ourselves. We know how good these teams can be. We know how good their players are, their staff. But we have to stop running at some point. and we have to start thinking about who we are and that’s where you develop a team identity.

“We like all our energy to be in this moment and that’s what my teams will do. We’re going to focus on ourselves and do our best to beat these teams, but grow every time we face them.”

It looks increasingly likely that these four teams will be vying for just three Champions League places. But again, Skinner is solely focused on United’s ability to succeed.

“We are in the race where we want to go,” he said. “Running is for us to run and that’s one thing that’s really important. I really believe in taking each step as it comes, like we get to a point where we lose focus against Arsenal, and don’t pursue that points, your progress falters.

“I’m just going to keep making sure our players are focused on the next game, we all say that, or don’t look at the table – everyone does. But then you have to come back to how you overcome the next hurdle, which is one of the toughest, if not the toughest in the league.

“We have a very, very clear structure to do our best at the moment. If we get the three points because we were the best team and created the most chances, then why can’t we to be at the top of the table? Why can’t we challenge the teams at the top? We can, of course we can.

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Tottenham head coach Rehanne Skinner and Reading manager Kelly Chambers reflect on busy Women’s Super League transfer window

“I’m not going to lose sight of what we have to do in every game and I won’t let my players do that.

“So yes, I guess a roundabout answer is yes, of course we can [be in the Champions League spots], but we know how far we have to go, we know we have to face exceptional teams. Teams currently in low positions can easily take points any day. It’s great for us and it’s going to make it very exciting for the fans.”

Sky Sports

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