Manchester United Women’s boss Marc Skinner message to fans for tonight’s derby

Manchester United Women head coach Marc Skinner has called on the home fans to bring the energy for tonight’s FA WSL Continental Cup tie against Manchester City at Leigh Sports Village.

Tonight’s is the second Manchester Derby already this season – after the sides drew 2-2 in the WSL last month – and with only one guaranteed qualifier from the groups, both sides will be desperate to knock up an early win over their rivals.

And Skinner was keen to stress his excitement at a return to Leigh and the impact of a fervent home backing.

He said: “It’s always great to be performing in front of them and we just want them to continue to give us the energy that they give us because it truly does drive every player on. We can’t wait to be back at home.

“Whenever a player feels that fatigue, whenever they feel that a goal might happen – we might score, we might concede – it’s the energy that’s transferred from the fans that drives our performance.

“They are absolutely key to what we do.”

The 38-year-old watched on last month as his side – reduced to 10 in the first-half – battled back from 2-1 down to grab a point, but he isn’t hoping for another see-sawing, drama-filled derby this time out.

He said: “For the blood pressure I hope not, but what I would say is it’s a derby so those things happen. There’s passion on both sides, there’s commitment on both sides…but we’ve just got to make sure our players are ready, fired up, not that it takes much firing up against a local rival in a derby.”

Manchester City Women head coach Gareth Taylor shared his opposite number’s passion for a derby-day.

He said: “There’s no added incentive needed for these games – a derby is a derby and of course, we want to be successful.

“We’re looking to go one better this time to try and win the game. That’s the objective for sure.”

City’s Khadija Shaw looks set for a return to action after missing three matches with a foot injury, however Taylor will still be without the likes of Karen Bardsley, Ellie Roebuck, Khiara Keating, Steph Houghton, Esme Morgan, Lucy Bronze and Chloe Kelly

United, meanwhile, will be without Haley Ladd due to illness, while Martha Harris, Millie Turner and Jackie Groenen are also unavailable.

Tickets are still available for the match tonight, which will also be streamed live on the FA Player, with kick-off at 7pm.

Feature image by Dave Green / Leigh Sport Stadium / CC BY-SA 2.0

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