Manchester

Marc Skinner lauds summer recruitment following Manchester United opening day WSL win

What was clear from the game was the amount of talent that coach Marc Skinner had at his disposal. Russo, Ella Toone, Leah Galton and new signing Lucia Garcia led the line from the start, but substitutes Nikita Parris and Martha Thomas showed the strength in depth from the bench.

This has been the aim for United's recruitment team this summer and when asked about it after the game, Skinner commented on what the improved options mean for his squad's chances this season.

“We run for the rest of our team, we try and put ourselves in the best position for the rest of our players to come in and make the difference. We are going to be a full squad rather than a team, the game is moving too quickly now.

“It's not about 11 players anymore, but the reality is I've recruited the way I've recruited because I've faced a lot of blocks last year as a group. And I wanted a different way to score goals because I want to score goals, I want to play with the ball.

“As you've seen today I think it'll equate to about 70 per cent possession. But we want to be useful with our possession rather than passive so we've got to have different ways of scoring.”

However, it's not just the impact that the players can have within a game that Skinner is focusing on. A bigger squad means that the manager can keep his team fresher and this was something he also commented on after the game.

“It also allows me to rotate my players more, so you look at all of the England girls as an example, they've gone through two cycles with the Olympics then the Euros and there's a World Cup next year, we have to protect them. They don't want it, they don't like that if they're left out of the team.