Despite a gutsy performance against a much more experience team, MU Women came away with nothing to show for their efforts last Saturday against Reading Ladies.
After the International break, Casey Stoney’s ladies will go up against Aston Villa Ladies at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground. They will be eager to get back to winning ways after an impressive start to their season against Liverpool.
In spite of the defeat against Reading, there is much to be positive about and it is clear they are headed in the right direction. This week, I spoke to Damon Morris of @ManUtdWomenFC to discuss the Reading game, Lauren James, as well as looking ahead to the Villa game.
It’s fair to say MU Women didn’t have the best of days against Reading? What went wrong?
I wouldn’t go as far to saying we didn’t have the best of days. It certainly was not the best of results, but that result definitely flattered Reading. You have them days when things just don’t go for you and Saturday was an example of such days. I don’t think any of the fans (home or away) would of begrudged United going in with a lead at HT. Reading very fortunate to go in at 0-0 and rode their luck late on when United were chasing the game.
Having been together just 7 weeks, they pushed a much more experienced side hard; how much heart can they take from that?
I would certainly say the players, coaching staff and even the fans can take a lot out of that game. Especially as you say, they have been together as a group for such a short period; yet play some very good attacking football. You can see what they are trying to do; no doubt about it. Despite conceding two, we could of easily won that 3-2 given the chances we had. Having said that, they are the chances that need to be taken. If you don’t it will cost you; which was the way it ended, unfortunately.
Who do you think is the player to watch this season from a Utd point of view?
The player I am excited about is young Lauren James. She put in another decent performance against Reading and she bossed it in the opening game at Liverpool.It is hard to believe that she is just 16 years of age! Surely only big things to come from her.
Next up, MU Women are away to Aston Villa ladies after the international break. Where do they need to improve from Saturday to gain a positive result?
I think it’s simple, take our chances. We create plenty but just haven’t found the back of the net enough. We also need to make sure they keep some consistency at the back. They were very solid from a defensive perspective against Liverpool last weekend, which you would expect from a Casey Stoney side. However, against Reading they were caught out ball watching on a number of occasions which can’t be happening whatever level of opposition you face.
Katie Zelem has stated the players are targeting promotion. Would you agree that in Casey Stoney and Willie Kirk, the club have the people in place to attain such goals?
We can’t be jumping the gun too early as it’s very early days. Having said that, I’m hopeful of a promotion despite it being our debut season. Casey is a young manager learning her trade but she’s been in a game a long time. She was a good leader as a player and I expect the same of her as a manager. Kirk is experienced too and has great knowledge of the game. Alongside Stoney, I think they’ll make a good partnership. In terms of the squad, it’s a young group of British players but we have some top Internationals amongst them who have played at the highest level. They have the tools to gain promotion, the quality is certainly there, let’s just hope they put them to their best use.
In terms of line-up, do you expect a few changes to the team that started against Reading ladies?
I’m not expecting any changes in all honesty. I am sure the manager wants to get a stable starting Xl playing together on a weekly basis to gel as a team. Given they started with a win vs Liverpool and were unlucky to lose against Reading, I can’t see any cause for changes this early on. We need to see how they perform for a game or two in the league before any tinkering.