REACTION: Blues Women 1 Brighton Women 0
Manager Marc Skinner thought that his team were excellent as they beat Brighton Women 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Centre-back Aoife Mannion stepped up to take the penalty that decided the game, and Skinner felt that although Blues didn’t create enough chances, they deserved the victory.
Skinner also praised Brighton and the way Hope Powell’s team set up to play, yet noted that Blues did well in possession to combat this.
He said: “I actually thought they played pretty well in the first-half without creating goal scoring opportunities enough. Bearing in mind Brighton are an organised, structured team that are hard to break down so you have to work the ball for longer and stay in possession longer and in that comes risk because they’re looking for one mistake to pounce on you.
“So, I thought the girls were exceptional because again when you’re coming out and playing teams that are more aggressive towards you, there’s spaces to play in. When there isn’t, you have to force the spaces so I thought we were excellent tonight.
“I know it’s 1-0 but we were excellent because we forced the opposition out of positions. We need to tidy up in the final third and then it would have been a totally different game.”
The boss was critical of his side’s attacking threat, but was adamant that it will come as his players spend more time playing together out on the pitch.
“We didn’t create enough tonight, I’m not going to hide that fact but in the final third we didn’t quite connect enough,” Skinner said. “We had some half bits here and there but it was the build up to that that was really good.
“So, if you’ve watched us this season, you’ll know that each game we’re getting better. They need games behind their belt to really express that. But the more and the longer you keep the ball, the less time the opposition have it and the more they’re working hard to get it back the more you can manipulate them and score goals.
“I’m just pleased with them overall and what we’ve done tonight. If you look at it from a football purist point of view, yeah, we haven’t scored as many goals but from a technical, tactical view we’ve controlled an opposition who haven’t troubled our goalkeeper again.”
It is game two of three in a week for the Blues and although the tempo looked slower from the stands, Skinner reassured fans that he believed his team were sharp.
He said: “I thought we were quite sharp. I think maybe under the lights it always looks different, more energy because the girls have eaten more in the day. The grass was slick so the ball moved quickly so I actually thought the possession parts were quite quick.”