Manchester United boss Marc Skinner spoke to the media ahead of Manchester United's trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal this weekend.

Skinner spoke about getting under the skin of Arsenal, the situation between Mary Earps and Phallon Tullis-Joyce, last season's pulsating victory over The Gunners and more. 

  • United's top three hopes:

Good work has been made by Manchester United to close the gap on 3rd place from seven points to just four, thanks in part to two vital wins over Aston Villa and Brighton. 

Victory at Arsenal on Saturday could see that gap closed to one point, but defeat stretches it to seven again, with the risk and reward of United finishing in the top three, hinging hugely on this upcoming ninety minutes in North London. 

"Statistically, we wouldn't be out the running for a top three spot but realistically, you're probably right. For us, what we have to do we have to go and perform against Arsenal. 

"We're unbeaten in four against them and we need to go and be the team that gets under the skin of Arsenal. We have to try and win the game."

(Photo by Charlotte Tattersall - MUFC via Getty Images)
(Photo by Catherine Tattersall - MUFC via Getty Images)
  • INEOS Takeover approved by The FA:

There was good news for the wider Manchester United community this week as the proposed minority stake takeover from Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS was approved by the Premier League and Football Association. 

Sir Ratcliffe now owns 25% of the club following his completion of the Premier League's owners and directors test, which will soon have implication's and potential new investment on Skinner's Women's side. 

"As somebody that admires high performance. Sir Dave (Brailsford) and Sir Jim (Ratcliffe), it's going to be a welcome investment in the whole club, which lead to exciting times and you can clearly see that we are pushing and developing to the way INEOS want us to look. 

"Me personally, I know the team are really excited, but we do also have games to play and that's the beauty of being in sport day to day. You can feel the energy day to day at the club with the movement and it's exciting." 

(Photo by Manchester United via Getty Images)
(Photo by Manchester United via Getty Images)
  • The Mary Earps and Phallon Tullis-Joyce conundrum:

It's fair to say, plenty of eyebrows were raised when Mary Earps was selected to start in goal in United's cup victory over Southampton, over Phallon Tullis-Joyce, 

Since signing from Seattle Reign in the summer, Tullis-Joyce has just been restricted to four Conti-Cup appearances so far in her first season in the North of England. Obviously, that comes with the territory of being a 'number two' goalkeeper, but Skinner knows he has two top quality shot stoppers vying for playing time. 

"Whenever you;ve looked at my games before, like last season, Sophie Baggaley didn't play. In the FA Cup, a knockout cup, I played Mary and I've continued to do that so far this season. 

"I recently had a meeting with Phallon, just a catch up really. I re-iterated the quality she has, she's a fantastic goalkeeper but she is also behind the world's number one goalkeeper, that is the levels. 

"The beauty of Phallon is she wants to raise her game to get to Mary's standard. For us, I'm in the fortunate and unfortunate position of only playing one of them, but I think Phallon understands the journey and what she has to do to get there."

(Photo by Charlotte Tattersall - MUFC via Getty Images)
(Photo by Catherine Tattersall - MUFC via Getty Images)
  • What can be took from last season's historic win:

Arsenal 2-3 Manchester United, last season was a scoreline that reverberated around the Women's Football world. not least for the result, but for the manner in which it came. 

After Frida Maanum had cancelled out Ella Toone's opener, Laura Weinrother put The Gunners infront 17 minutes from time and on course to delight the Emirates crowd. 

However, United had other idea's, Millie Turner forced home an equaliser with five minutes to go, before now Gunner, Alessia Russo sparked bedlam in the away end with a 91st minute winner to break Arsenal hearts. Skinner will know Saturday poses a different threat, but insists there can be things drawn from last terms victory. 

"Yeah I do think there's stuff we can take from it, from tactical aspects. If Arsenal make a different choice at a different time they could've opened different spaces to hurt us. I think it's about how Arsenal approach this game too. 

"It's all the little details and little battles going on, not just the tactical implements. We have to use the psyche of the performance. We have to know that if we go behind, we were winning, then we were losing, and then we won.

"We have to know that every set piece matters, for and against. We have to know and be brave enough to have touches in their box, even while the crowd are booing and giving them energy. It was a fantastic psychology last term, but we can't approach the game the exact same way, the game plan will be different but the psychology we can definiatley keep."