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Manchester United Women’s head coach Marc Skinner has called for his side to channel the frustration from last weekend’s late draw at Tottenham Hotspur into a winning response during Sunday’s trip to Everton.
The Reds will make the journey over to Merseyside for the Women’s Super League encounter (12:30 GMT) looking for an immediate return to winning ways, following the 1-1 draw last time out.
United had to settle for a point at Spurs last week despite leading for much of the contest, following Ria Percival’s 95th-minute equaliser for the home side.
Skinner has urged his players to convert the disappointment that followed into a positive reaction when we step onto the pitch at Walton Hall Park, come Sunday lunchtime.
Skinner previews Everton trip Video
Skinner previews Everton tripThe boss discusses this weekend’s game, team news and Friday’s Old Trafford announcement in our pre-match interview…
“As a group, we wanted to win that [Tottenham] game, it didn’t happen. What we need to do now is use it as energy and take it into the Everton game, which will be a difficult game,” he told club media in an exclusive pre-match interview.
“You have to use that energy, it has to feed your next actions and that’s what we’re going to use against Everton.
“We had a good conversation after the game when we reviewed it and what I’ve loved about this group is we’re not going to hide from anything,” our head coach added.
“We’re going to get in and have good conversations so that we’re always working towards the same goal.
“We had a great energy about the group, and they’ve trained really well this week. We’ve been focused. It was a real good vibe this week.”
Sunday’s game against Everton, who we will host at Old Trafford in next March’s reverse fixture as announced on Friday morning, is the first of three matches in the space of a week for Skinner’s side. A derby in the League Cup at home to Manchester City follows on Wednesday before table-toppers Arsenal are the visitors to Leigh Sports Village when we return to WSL action four days later.
The boss insists that the focus remains firmly on this weekend’s visit to Merseyside, where we will face a side looking for a first win under new manager Jean-Luc Vasseur, who took charge earlier this month.
The Toffees currently occupy 10th spot in the league table, but Skinner says his side understand the challenge ahead and aren’t fooled by the difficult start to the season that our next opponents have endured.
“The games are going to come thick and fast this week, but our sole focus is Everton.
“They’ve got a new manager, it’s going to be different for them but we have to put a game plan in and give that grit in and out of possession.
“I’m looking forward to it. I know our players are looking forward to it and the energy is going to be there, it’s going to be a good game for us to put all of our qualities on the field.
“It will be a tough fixture, don’t be confused with where they are at the moment,” the 38-year-old added.
“I’m pretty sure they’d have liked better results but when you look at the quality they have, it’s going to be a tough game. If you can switch off for a second, they can hurt you.
“But as we always do, we focus on what we can do to the opponent and respect the qualities they have.”
Training for the Toffees galleryThe best pictures from Wednesday’s session as the Reds put in the work ahead of our WSL visit to Everton this weekend.
Ahead of the match, Skinner also provided the latest team news, as well as an update on the recoveries of Jackie Groenen and Millie Turner from their respective longer-term injuries.
“Martha Harris has missed training today (Friday), she might train tomorrow so hopefully that’s just a slight precaution.
“We have Jackie who will be out for a little bit in terms of precautions to make sure her hamstring is fixed and ready to go for the games coming up, maybe in December, who knows? But we’ll make sure we manage her effectively.
“It’s been great to see Millie back on the field as well. Millie’s been back on the training field and joined in a bit of the unopposed technical warm-up which was great, she’s been progressing really well. Again, we’ll take the necessary time frame for her, and we’ll update you when we know better on that.”