Manchester United manager Casey Stoney has admitted that Wednesday’s FA Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final tie against Chelsea is a ‘big game’ but one which her side are looking forward to.
United were defeated 3-2 by neighbours Manchester City in the Women’s FA Cup fourth round at the Leigh Sports Village on Saturday but The Red Devils swiftly have an opportunity to return to winning ways against Chelsea on Wednesday evening.
Should United defeat The Blues, they will reach their first major cup final and manager Stoney admits that it is an exciting game to look forward to.
“On Wednesday, it’s a big game for us but it’s one we’re really looking forward to” said the United boss.
“We know that we can play against Manchester City, we’ve already shown in the league that we can play against Chelsea. So, I want my players to go out with belief.”
It was tough derby day defeat for Manchester United at the Leigh Sports Village on Saturday as they were knocked out of the Women’s FA Cup at the first hurdle by cross-city rivals Manchester City. However, for United manager Stoney it is not all doom and gloom as she drew positives from the performance at the weekend.
When looking back on the match, Stoney said “I’ve got real mixed emotions (from the Manchester City defeat). I was gutted and disappointed because I think the players deserved more.
“I think they executed the game plan excellently, I thought we were getting stronger in the game.
“I thought we had two perfectly good goals not given, so I was disappointed but at the same time I was really proud of them because I thought they did everything and more that I asked of them.
“I think first half we looked nervy if I’m honest, we looked like we didn’t necessarily want to get on the ball.
“The second half performance I was really impressed with, we were brave, we showed a different side to our game.
“I thought at 3-1 we were actually getting stronger, maybe another couple of minutes and we might have got an equaliser. So that’s the pleasing thing, we never gave up.”
Teenager Lauren James had an significant impact from the bench against Manchester City as she provided United’s opening goal and manager Stoney hinted that the youngster could be in-line for a recall against Chelsea.
Stoney added “I keep saying we’re a young team but we’ve got special talent.
“It’s not everybody who can bring on someone like Lauren James and she can do what she can do.
“She’s obviously available on Wednesday and we’ve got strength in depth.”
Wednesday’s fixture is scheduled to kick-off at 7.30pm with tickets available on the night.