Man Utd boss reveals team are practising penalties ahead of FA Cup final and which musician is inspiring him
Manchester United boss Marc Skinner opened up on the importance of Mary Earps ahead of the FA Cup final and reveals which British musician is inspiring him ahead of the game.
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It will be the third time the sides have faced each other this season and with those games being decided by the finest of margins, Skinner revealed his side have been practising penalties in the event the game goes to the wire and opened up on where he feels the game could be won and lost.
“It would be miss not to do that (practice penalties), absolutely. We’ve practiced five or six times, we’ve been practising over the last few weeks” said Skinner.
“Different pressure points, stategies because it would be silly not to do so. The beauty will be a really comfortable game in 90 minutes but we know that is not going to happen. We’ll prepare, we’ve got little things prepared throughout so we are as prepared as we can be going into the final, the rest will be what happens on the day.
For the likes of Mary Earps, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone this will not be the first time they have played in a big game at a sold out Wembley and while Skinner admitted that experience will be vital, the game will be won as a collective.
“It is slightly different. It will feel different, when you’re at Wembley for an England game it’s about almost everybody supporting England. Here it will be a divide, the Manchester United fans will be in number - and it might outnumber - but the reality is there is still going to be factors within the game.
“Her experience will be vital but we can’t just win this on individuals experience. We have to win this as a collective. We are going to have to suffer in this game, there’s no doubt about it. Emma will tell you we can be favourites as we are sat top of the league, that is how that question and conversation will go every time.
“The reality is there have more experience in that at this time, but the reason we’re here is we want to experience it more often and be in these finals more often.”
Interestingly, Skinner said he had taken pre-game inspiration from British hit maker Ed Sheeran as he claimed Chelsea are the favourites heading into Sunday’s game.
“I literally, just before we came on air, listened to something Jake Humphrey put something out about Ed Sheeran. He talked about not learning anything from his successes and that he learnt a lot from his failures. If you look at us from last year, I think we have already done that. In the moment, we are going to be judged and in the moment we will judge ourselves, we have to trust ourselves and we have to do what we’ve done all year - trust our process of playing.
“Whenever challenges and emotions threaten your mental state, you have to try and stay in the middle and balanced. The best people that do that will stay focused on the task at hand. That’s our challenge though.
“We know we can beat Chelsea. That’s not saying we’re going to beat Chelsea - we want to beat Chelsea but we know how difficult that is. Emma will be saying the same thing to her team but she has that experience in her group. We have that, but sometimes it just has to be brought out in moments. I hope that we can the winners of that in this moment but we have a lot of challenges in the short term to overcome - if we do that, we deserve to lift the cup.”