Man Utd Women boss Marc Skinner on issues at club: ‘Nobobdy wants to hear good news’


Manchester United Women manager Marc Skinner says “nobody wants to hear good news” following a special report into the team published by The Athletic this week.

That report found several key issues in United’s recent past, including that the club missed out on signings because of delays at senior level, there has been a lack of clarity regarding budget and strategy and they reneged on a verbal deal agreed to keep former striker Alessia Russo at the club.

Skinner’s position as United manager is also under review following INEOS’ purchase of a 25 per cent stake in the club as a whole. As part of that deal, INEOS are taking control of the football operations from the Glazer family, which has owned United since 2005.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS’ founder, said any United team “need to be focused on winning and being successful” when asked about the performance of the women’s side last month.

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Special report: The state of Manchester United’s women’s team

“We will obviously have conversations around any topic that’s brought to our attention,” Skinner said when asked about The Athletic’s report. “It would be remiss to say that I wouldn’t do that. “But it’s also about balance, that’s really important because we’re never going to report all the good things that happen at our club because nobody wants to hear good news.

“We need to grow here, there’s no doubt about that. There are things that we’ve done fantastically well in the short six years that we’ve been around, but there are also factors that we can improve.”

Skinner has guided United to fourth- and second-placed Women’s Super League finishes respectively in his two full seasons in charge.

But United have struggled to keep up with Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal this term and are in fourth place, nine points behind their north London rivals. This season has seen United fans call for Skinner to leave at several matches, with the 40-year-old’s contract up at its close.

Asked about the good things at United that could be reported on, Skinner replied: “We’ve just integrated a new, fantastic building we’ve got INEOS coming into our re-energizing of our club.

“We are the biggest club in the world that has fantastic things that I see on a daily basis. Our players are progressing, even though sometimes on the field people say we’re not because of the results which we will take ownership for.

“I see the growth we have in the last two years, two fantastic new pitches. I look at everything that’s being built around the infrastructure for our players. We’re growing steadily, but we’re growing for sure.

“We have psychological and medical support for our players, and a new player liaison officer that comes in. That’s the part we should be concentrating on as well.

“Just to be clear on that, it’s not about deflecting away from the things that we need to own. I’m not saying that. We have to own the things that we need to get better at. Of course we do. That’s how you grow. But I’ve never been in a high-performance environment that doesn’t accept that.

“If you know about high performance, it’s not about how many things are always right or wrong. It’s about learning from both areas. How can we get better from this and how can we improve that? And I think that’s what I see from our team every day.

“And since INEOS have been in as well, particularly, I think that there’s a push towards that performance side and I’m really excited by that.”

United return to action with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

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(Robin Jones/Getty Images)





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