MARC SKINNER wants Manchester United to show their title-contending maturity by denting Chelsea’s top spot chase.
Last September, Skinner’s aces fell to their biggest-ever defeat in the WSL when they were hammered 6-1 at Leigh Park Village.
But on Sunday the title-holders face a United outfit yet to concede a goal after five games played with an 8,000-strong crowd expected at their ground.
And Skinner, 39, wants the WSL leaders to show how much they have evolved with his team after their first win in the league against the Blues.
The Red Devils boss said: “Sometimes you have to take those punches to understand and know exactly where you’re at.
“For us, it was a devastating result of course but it was our third game in.
“Chelsea were ruthless on the day which we know they can be. We’re well aware of their goal threat.
“We’re a different team but I want us to show that.
“It’s all well and good me talking about that here but I want my team to show their maturity and energy in this game.
“We know how difficult a task is, they have some wonderful players and historically they are one of the best teams in the WSL.
“But I think it’s for us to go on and choose how we impose ourselves. We need to be confident, not complacent.”
This summer has seen Man United strengthen their ranks with several new signings.
New additions include Nikita Parris, 28, Maya Le Tissier, 20, Rachel Williams, 34, and Adriana Leon, 30, who netted her first United goal during their demolition of Brighton.
Of his choice of signings, Skinner added: “It was actually carefully designing what each person might bring for us.
“For example, if we need to go into a physical battle with a team – and Chelsea are a very physical team – we know a Rachel Williams can frighten most people.
“It’s really important we have variance and ability to do that.”
Among the players who have shone for the club this term is former Brighton defender Le Tissier.
Two goals and an assist in five top-tier games have seen the defender earn her first senior England call-up before the Lionesses’ games against Japan and Norway.
Skinner said: “She’s a very talented young player but has stepped above and beyond her years in maturity and she shows that.
“All she’s got to do is enjoy these moments. Go and enjoy the camp, go and step up and show her qualities.”
United’s clash with Chelsea will see Mary Earps, 29, become the first goalkeeper to make her 150th WSL appearance.
The Euros-winning shot-stopper has been in fine form between the sticks for club and country,
And Earps has kept five clean sheets in five WSL exchanges this term.
Skinner said: “I’m a huge admirer of what Mary has done in the last year since I’ve been in charge.
“With Mary, she gives us so much stability to build on.
“I’m really pleased with the mindset of the goalkeeping people we have here.
Chelsea have been on a seven-game winning streak across all competitions since their loss to Liverpool in September.
Their Leigh Park Village visit could see Barclays Player of the Month nominee Lauren James, 21, start against her former club.
Blues general manager Paul Green said: “Lauren has had a really good start to the season.
“She’s a quality player and put in some great performances this month.
‘It’s no surprise she got nominated off the back of those two great goals last weekend against Aston Villa, plus another assist.”