Marc Skinner, the new boss at Manchester United Women has told The Athletic he is here to win trophies.
Skinner, who joined the club from NWSL side Orlando Pride in July has big shoes to fill having taken over from Casey Stoney.
Under Stoney, the Reds won the championship, earning them promotion to the top flight before finishing in the top four in back-to-back seasons.
“Being here, our challenge is to win things, there’s no doubt about that. I haven’t come back just to exist.”, Skinner said.
It won’t be easy for the 38 year old as a string of United’s top players such as Lauren James, Jess Sigsworth and Americans Christen Press and Tobin Heath, left following the departure of Stoney.
However, the side have strengthened, bringing in the likes of Vilde Bøe Risa and Martha Thomas who have impressed so far in pre-season.
Skinner has managed a WSL side through turbulent times before and he reflected upon this. “If I was to look back on my experience at Birmingham, we had no money,” he said of the club he took to the FA Cup final. “We closed the gap because we believed in each other.”
Skinner says he feels supported by his new club despite United being at the forefront of some scathing articles condemning its resources and treatment of the women’s team.
He said: “Since I’ve been at Manchester United, the resources are there. I need to stress this: I’ve felt nothing but support since I’ve been here.”
He reiterated the importance of playing the United way, something which he has mentioned on a number of occasions since his appointment. ‘I want us to be adaptive and seek the weakness of the opponent we need to play,” said Skinner. “But what I do want to do — because I think it’s what United fans expect — is to play a brand of football that’s attacking and exciting.”
Talking further about the style of play Skinner said, “I expect that to be with a mix of ball possession but also, from my time in the NWSL, it will be about exploiting lines and breaking lines and being aggressive between those lines.”
He reiterated his excitement of working with these players and the club, “For me, it’s about making sure we have the most together team on the field,” he said. “I think that’s what’s the most exciting thing about being at Manchester United. Not only can we have the support away from the ground and away from what we’re doing on the field, but also on the field, we’re free to invent who we are.”
The team are currently on a weeks long training camp in Scotland where they will face Rangers on Thursday evening in a pre-season friendly before kicking off their WSL campaign at home on September 3rd at home against Reading.