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Man. United, PSV say Malta camp perfect to reset campaign

Man. United players train at the Ta’ Qali Training Grounds. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Teams face off in friendly at Tony Bezzina Stadium today

Manchester United women’s manager Mark Skinner and his counterpart at PSV Eindhoven Roeland ten Berge said that their training camp in Malta this week will be the perfect preparation for the second part of the season.

Manchester United Women and PSV Eindhoven will go head-to-head in a friendly match at the Tony Bezzina Stadium this evening (kick-off: 6pm) and both coaches stated that today’s warm-up provided an excellent test for their players.

“We are privileged to be given this opportunity to conduct this training camp here in Malta,” Skinner told the Times of Malta.

“This is a very important camp for us ahead of what is likely to be a very difficult second part of the season. We are currently seven points behind in this season’s title race and we are looking at this camp as a perfect opportunity to re-energise ourselves for the rest of the campaign.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done and we are looking forward to getting back on track. The match against PSV Eindhoven will be a great test for us. They have some exceptional talent in their squad and I am expecting a very tough challenge – which is what we need at the moment.”

On his part, PSV coach Ten Berge said that he is grateful that his team can step up their preparations for the second part of the season in Malta in such perfect weather conditions.

“We are very thankful to have been given the chance to conduct this training camp here,” he said.

“The weather in Holland is very bad at the moment, with lots of rain while here in Malta the climatic conditions are perfect and we have been given great facilities to train in.

“I have started work at PSV two weeks into pre-season, and although this is not my squad, we have a great group of players and I am looking forward to helping the team play in the style of football I want.
“It’s a difficult job but it’s very stimulating for me and I look forward to working hard with my players during the camp here.”

For Manchester United, this is the second time that they are holding a winter training camp here in Malta after a similar experience last year. Skinner said that the Manchester United players have fallen in love with Malta after a great experience last January.

“There is something special about this island,” Skinner said.

“When we came here last year, we visited the local Manchester United Supporters Club and held some excursions to some attractions and the players just loved it. When we came here we didn’t know what to expect but when we left we all felt that we should return.

“The people were very welcoming and we enjoyed coming here.”

This season, Manchester United have failed to repeat the results of last term which saw the team challenge for the WSL title until the final day of the season.

Skinner admitted that consistency has been an issue for his team this term.

“It’s true that we are lacking in consistency in terms of results when compared to last season,” Skinner said.

“In terms of performances I have been very pleased with my players as we have created more chances than last season but we conceded too many goals. We are also a bit in transition as this season we had to integrate eight or nine players so we just need to find a way of expressing ourselves better.

“The consistency of the results needs to be better and we hope this camp will get us in the right frame to start the second part of the season very strongly as we have some tough fixtures coming up against Newcastle, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.”

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