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Stoney coy on Man Utd’s PL, WSL leads

Manchester United face top-of-the-table clashes in the Premier League and Women’s Super League this weekend, but boss Casey Stoney feels she and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must not get carried away with their league leads just yet.

United currently sit top of the pile in both the men’s and the women’s top flight, and both teams face huge tests against Liverpool and Chelsea Women respectively, with the Premier League meeting live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

Stoney feels that neither team should get complacent – with both holding slender three-point leads – and says that despite strong starts, the title races will not be wrapped up in January regardless of the media hype surrounding the games.

“No one wins anything at half-time and it is the same here,” she said. “We’re not picking up any trophies in January.

“Yes it is great for Ole to be in the position he is in. It’s great for us to be in the position we’re in but it is more important to perform week in, week out so that we can sustain something so we’re in a good position come May.”

Casey Stoney 0:48
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Player of the Month awards in both the men’s and women’s leagues were handed to United on Friday.

It was the fourth time Bruno Fernandes has won the accolade since signing for United a year ago, with three goals and four assists in December alone from the Portugal midfielder.

However, winger Leah Galton went one better than Fernandes in December by scoring four league goals to propel United to the WSL summit.

Galton credited the arrival of American World Cup winners Tobin Heath and Christen Press transforming the mindset of the team and giving them the confidence to attack and take more scoring chances.

Galton had turned her back on playing for a time after making just one appearance for Bayern Munich in February 2018, but she was asked to join the launch of Stoney’s team at United later that year.

“I went in as one person and came out a different person,” Galton said.

“Casey said she thought she knew my potential and she wanted to invest in that, and that made me really excited to work with her because no coach had said to me before that they were excited to see what I could grow into.

“She’s stuck to her word.”

When United last won the Premier League in 2013, the women’s team did not exist, but going into the weekend’s fixtures, Stoney’s side can continue their title challenge in what is only their third season following promotion in their first campaign.

Stoney was honoured on Friday with a second successive Manager of the Month award after three straight wins in December extended United’s unbeaten run to 14 league games.

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