New Manchester United women manager Marc Skinner has said he wants his team to play ‘attacking’ and ‘exciting’ football, quickly buying into the club’s longstanding traditions.
Skinner was appointed successor to Casey Stoney at the end of July after a frustratingly lengthy search that had at one stage led the players to questions the direction of the club.
Skinner has a proven track record in the WSL from his impressive spell in charge at Birmingham but found things much tougher in the United States with Orlando Pride. He is now hoping to use all of his experience to create something special in Manchester.
“I think that this is just going to be a wonderful challenge for everyone. I want an adaptive team that doesn't just have one way of playing,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“What I learned at Birmingham was that our teams were very ball possession-based. In America, I tried that in the first year and it didn't work out, so I had to find out the best way of attacking the NWSL. I want us to be adaptive, but I want to play attacking football and exciting football, which is a brand of football that Manchester United fans expect.”
Following criticisms of the club’s handling of and attitude towards its women’s team – one of the major factors behind Stoney’s resignation was frustration over training facilities – United preached earlier this summer that the ambition is to have a ‘fully integrated approach’ for men’s, women’s and academy teams at the club’s training ground.
“Since I've been at Manchester United of course the resources have been there and I've been supported. I've felt nothing but support since I've been here,” Skinner said in further comments published by the Daily Mail.
He revealed that he has already been welcomed by men’s team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and has been in direct contact with football director John Murtough and senior official Julie Ferguson.
“I emailed Ole and within 20 minutes he emailed me back and said, ‘I look forward to meeting you, welcome to the club and I'll grab a coffee with you and we can integrate ideas’,” Skinner said.
“I've met all of the staff across the training ground, they've been nothing but friendly. This is part of the reason I came to Manchester United because I knew it had a heritage of supporting its own and growing from within.
“John Murtough is a very keen link to that and he's been nothing but supportive. I have direct lines to Julie Ferguson and John Murtough, I think we've met twice a week, I have constant conversations. John has come out to watch us on the training field, I feel nothing but support from there.
“Since I've been in, I've seen nothing but love, energy, commitment, drive and ambition towards our women's team. We wouldn't expect anything less than that. We will continue to grow.”