New Spurs boss Skinner hoping fans ‘will bring a little lift’
Former England assistant looking for 'positive performance' as she takes charge of Tottenham for the first time against Brighton this Sunday
04 December, 2020 — By Catherine Etoe
Tottenham take on Brighton this Sunday in the Women’s Super League
NEW Spurs boss Rehanne Skinner says she cannot wait to get “on the grass” against Brighton on Sunday in her first match in charge of the north London side.
Formerly Phil Neville’s assistant at England, Skinner took the reins in mid-November after Tottenham’s long-time managerial duo Karen Hills and Juan Amoros were “relieved of their duties”.
The recent international break has meant the 41-year-old has only been able to work with her new charges since Monday, but Skinner is eager to build on the work of her popular predecessors.
“Karen and Juan have had a really long history in the game and have been around for as long as I have really,” she told the New Journal.
“Everything they’ve done has been a really positive stepping stone to get the club to where it is now.
“Hopefully, from coming in at this stage, I’m now in a position to move it forward to the next stage that the club is looking to progress to and build on all the good work that they’ve done.”
Former Middlesbrough and Leicester City player Skinner has already seen Spurs make a change for the better when it comes to their women’s side – they are now based full-time at the men’s training ground Hotspur Way.
“The club were very aware that the facilities the players needed, needed to evolve, so it obviously shows their interest in the women’s team that they felt it was the right time to make that move,” she told the press in her first media conference in Spurs colours.
“It’s a learning curve for us at the moment, but the stuff we have access to now is unbelievable and the players are ecstatic about being in this environment, which is great.”
Tottenham’s women will receive another fillip this weekend, with spectators allowed in to watch their FA Women’s Super League clash with Brighton at The Hive in Barnet.
“The timing of having the fans back in is just really fortunate for me,” she said. “I can’t wait to just get on the grass and have a game under our belt.
“Having the fans back in the ground will change the atmosphere in the game and hopefully that will bring a little more of a lift.”
Skinner was a WSL, FA Cup and League Cup winner and Champions League semi-finalist in her time as Laura Harvey’s assistant at Arsenal.
She went on to work as assistant to Gunner legend Jayne Ludlow at Wales and has spent the last three years as head coach of England’s under-18 to 21s.
Her first job as head coach with a top flight WSL side looks set to be a testing one, with Spurs languishing at the foot of the table just above Bristol City.
Nevertheless, UEFA Pro-License holder Skinner is determined to lift the club out of the gloom and hopes to hit the ground running on Sunday.
“I have worked with a lot of senior players now so hopefully those experiences and tournaments and competitions have now put me in a really positive position to add value to the team and move it forward to the next level,” she said.
“There are players here that have loads of experience and top qualities and for whatever reason, at the moment they are just not quite performing to the level they are capable of.
“My job now is to get the best out of them so we can start turning those round into positive performances.
“Obviously there is a certain philosophy and style that we are looking to achieve and that will take a bit of time to get to that point.
“In terms of changes this weekend, I’m hoping that based on what we’ve done this week, you will start to see little glimpses of that.
“We will be evolving with more of a positive, attacking style of play, but it’s going take a little bit of time to achieve that in the way I’m hoping to get to.”
Spurs v Brighton
Sunday 6 December
Watch live on The FA Player