‘I’ll be Man Utd’s biggest fan’ – Stoney

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May 16, 2021
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    Casey StoneyCasey Stoney took charge in 2018 and guided Manchester United to back-to-back fourth-place finishes in Women's Super League

    Casey Stoney vowed to be Manchester United's "biggest supporter" after her spell as head coach ended with a shock Women's FA Cup exit to Leicester.

    Stoney was emotional as she reflected on her three years in charge following the 3-2 defeat that earned the Foxes a quarter-final spot.

    "I am very proud of what we've built," said the former England defender.

    "The players need good resources, they need backing and I know the club's going to do that."

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    Stoney watched as her side surrendered a 2-1 advantage against Leicester, who will be facing United on equal terms in the Women's Super League next season after securing the Championship title.

    "I believe this team has a bright future and I will be their biggest supporter moving forward. I'll have a rest and recalibrate," Stoney added.

    "It's not the way I would have wanted to end, not for a selfish reason but because I wanted this club to be in the FA Cup. That's bitterly disappointing.

    "We could have done better and that's who I am – I'm never satisfied. My standards are stupidly high and I don't want it to be any other way."

    Jess Sigsworth opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, latching on to Leah Galton's pass to fire in from close range before racing towards the touchline along with several team-mates to embrace their departing coach.

    Shannon O'BrienShannon O'Brien fired Leicester level on the stroke of half-time

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    However, United were stunned in first-half stoppage-time when Shannon O'Brien collected the ball inside the box and made space to steer a low equaliser beyond Mary Earps.

    Although the home side looked sluggish at the start of the second period, they regained the lead on the hour when Jane Ross cut inside and beat Kirstie Levell at her near post with a left-foot drive.

    But United paid the price for some sloppy defending as Hannah Cain collected a loose back-pass to make it 2-2 on 70 minutes – and, almost immediately from the restart, Natasha Flint burst through to slide the winner into the far corner.

    Leicester manager Jonathan Morgan revealed that his side – who move into September's quarter-finals – had included a trio of players suffering from "quite severe" flu.

    "The girls' resilience came through and we were deserved winners," he said.

    "What we had was a lot of heart and determination. We knew we could be dangerous in their defensive third and that 60 seconds when we scored two goals was brilliant, it shows the heart we have as a club.

    "I think that's echoed from the men's side and the women's side. It's just a fantastic family-orientated club and that builds a togetherness you can't create anywhere else."

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