Under-pressure Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says his side “have the energy” to chase down Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea.
Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge leaves fourth-placed United 10 points behind Emma Hayes’ side at the halfway point and beyond the traditional tipping point for winning the league.
No team has won the division after suffering more than two defeats – United have lost three games, and done so in half a season.
Speaking after the loss, Skinner said: “Let me be clear, I have no doubt where our team are heading. I have no doubt we are going to push and push to be one of the most successful teams in this league.
“I get it, we’ve got 10 points to chase and we have the energy to chase those 10 points. If I know anything about this team, they are going to have this energy.”
Former England striker Ellen White said United will be “bitterly disappointed” to miss out on a crucial three points – a fact which could likely end their title ambitions.
“Unless they have a flawless season and the other three go on and lose most of their games it’s going to be very hard for them to even reach those Champions League spots, let alone win the title,” she added on Two.
Turning the season around would require a monumental feat, but Skinner remained positive about his side’s prospects.
He added: “It’s not happened historically, but everything’s there to be broken right?
“Who knows what will happen.”
Fans call for Skinner exit
It is little wonder that, after such a frustrating campaign, fans have started to call for Skinner’s departure.
Among the away supporters at Stamford Bridge, one held a placard reading ‘Skinner out’.
The 40-year-old said fans are “entitled to do what they want”.
The Red Devils boss joined in 2021 from Orlando Pride and his current contract expires at the end of the season.
“The fans are absolutely entitled to do what they want,” added Skinner. “We are never going to silence any fan from having their opinion. They pay their hard-earned money.
“If my job as a leader was to deflect my attention away with every news story, I wouldn’t be doing my job. My job is to stay solely focused on what I know this team will achieve in the future, I have no doubt about that.
“Never, ever, will we stop any fans having an opinion, they’re absolutely entitled to. My job is to stay focused on what I want to achieve with this team and that is success.”
‘He’s done a fantastic job’
While this season has been tough for United, former England midfielder Fara Williams questioned who could replace Skinner.
She added on Two: “The question I would ask Manchester United fans is, who would you want him replaced with? He’s done a fantastic job at the club.
“Yes, they haven’t had the start to the season they would have liked. They’ve had new players, they have lost big players and there are rumoured talks about players leaving. Those things become really difficult in a team when that happens.”