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Skinner defends Parris substitution with forward on hat-trick
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Marc Skinner defended his decision to take Nikita Parris off on a hat-trick
Marc Skinner defended his decision to take Nikita Parris off on a hat-trick

Manchester United manager Marc Skinner defended his "tactical" decision to replace Nikita Parris on a hat-trick in their 2-1 Women’s Super League win over Aston Villa.

Parris scored twice in the first half, with a glancing header and then a hooked rebound after Lucia Garcia's curling shot had hit the post. 

She failed to take a chance to score a third early in the second half and United were made to live on their nerves after that as Rachel Daly scored a penalty.

Skinner has been under pressure of late, with some fans calling for his departure as a result of a poor run of form that has damaged their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. 

But he insisted he has no problems with Parris and dismissed the implication that he had taken her off to deny her the chance of a hat-trick. 

He said: "Nikita will always be disappointed to come off, but I've just heard that's the fourth time I've substituted her on two goals when she could have had a hat-trick. 

"You’re always going to find a stat to make me look bad. That's no problem. That's the craziest stat.

"Nikita had a chance at the start of the second half to complete her hat-trick. Nikita will never want to leave the field. That's her character. She's a fiery character. 

"But we needed to get pressure higher up, to stop Villa coming in on us, we needed to freshen the front line up. 

"It was purely tactical, to keep us in that end zone pressing.

"Nothing to do with Nikita. Nikita has been fantastic and will continue to be fantastic for our team. 

"Nikita always said when she first came here that she wanted to have fire in her belly and ice in her mind. And I think she’s performing that way perfectly."

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