Manchester United manager Casey Stoney sang the praises of her squad after she made eight changes for their FA Women’s Continental League Cup clash against Leicester City.
Stoney gave first starts of the season to Mollie Green, Lizzie Arnot, and a full debut to Norwegian goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen but it mattered little as the team still ran out emphatic winners, racking up 11 goals on the night to Leicester City’s one.
When speaking to FA Women’s Super League Full-Time after the match, United boss Stoney was naturally delighted with her side.
“I thought it was a thoroughly professional performance to score 11 goals” Stoney said. “Probably could have been more and should have been more so we’ve got to be more clinical.”
When asked about the rotation of the starting XI, Stoney stated “We’re very cautious with three games in a week to make sure that we manage minutes but it also gives a window of opportunity to other players to be able to go out there and perform and play which is important.
“But it’s great to see that we can change the side like that, and players can come in a perform brilliantly.”
It was not all high-praise as Stoney, ever the perfectionist, lamented the loss of a clean sheet,
She added “I’m disappointed with the one (conceded) and I think we should be because it’s a sloppy goal to give away through a lack of concentration.”
Nevertheless, Stoney emphasised the quality she possesses throughout her side and will feel relieved that they can be relied up when necessary.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad and I say that all the time, it’s about every single one of them” said the United boss. “If I could pick all of them every single week I would because they work so hard and they apply themselves brilliantly.
“Unfortunately, I can only pick 11 every week and some people have missed out on playing time so it’s great to be able to get minutes into the bank for certain players and they went out and performed really well tonight.”
With qualification for the last eight all but confirmed you would forgive Stoney and her players for already preparing for life beyond the group stages, but The Red Devils boss is not so hasty.
“I think as far as we can take it depends on how we perform” said Stoney. “We want to top the group obviously and we need to win against Birmingham to do that.
“We want to win trophies, we want to be successful, we know we are in year two but I think we’re in a good place.”
The focus now turns to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday who will be visiting the Leigh Sports Village for the first time and Stoney is not taking the challenge lightly.
She added “We want to get back to winning ways on Sunday but I also know that Brighton rested a lot of their players too and the Conti Cup gives you an opportunity to do that.”
With both sides having first team players fully rested and fresh off the back of convincing wins in midweek, confidence will be high in both camps going into the weekend’s fixture.