Marc Skinner oozed confidence in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s first home game of the season against Arsenal tomorrow night.
“I am always confident, I believe in this team, I believe in what they can do,” he told journalists.
His side beat Arsenal twice in the WSL last season helping them to finish above them in the table for the first time.
However, he acknowledged that it would be a tough test.
He continued: “We always prepare to be the very best version of ourselves. Arsenal have invested a lot over the years so we have to prepare to beat the opponent that we face.”
The fixture could see the return of former United striker Alessia Russo, who signed for the Gunners in the summer.
Although there could be a surprise, as sources connected to both clubs say Russo is reluctant to travel back to Manchester because she is scared of the reception she’ll get from fans (source: ours). The Gunners are rumoured to be offering extra security to the player.
The opening WSL game against Aston Villa was a physically tough test for United but their hard work right to the last minute meant they were able to grind out a result and Skinner will be looking for the same work rate from his side this weekend.
“We have to match them and go above that. We’re at home, we’re in front of our sold out fans so the venue will be rocking. We want to make it a fortress again. Our players know that and are in the right mindset,” he said.
Aoife Mannion and Emma Watson are sidelined long term through injury but there are no new injuries to hinder Skinner’s selection.
This will come as a relief to United fans as Leah Galton was substituted against Aston Villa after picking up a knock.
Skinner did hint that fans might see some rotation: “It’s important to be able to pick from the whole squad. The games are coming quickly, there will be adaptations going into the next three games. I have to see how my squad react.”
United host Arsenal at Leigh Sports Village on Friday night with kick off scheduled for 8pm.