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Manchester United women's manager Casey Stoney: I thrive on pressure

Casey Stoney admits she is already feeling the pressure of being Manchester United manager as the newly-formed women's team prepare to kick-off their new era.

Stoney will take charge of United's women in their first competitive game since 2005 when they line up against Liverpool at Prenton Park in the Continental Cup on Sunday.

She has been forced to put together a squad -- which includes seven players who have swapped Liverpool for United this summer -- in a matter of weeks. And despite the quick turnaround, the former England captain accepts there is always expectation at a club of United's size.

"I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't want pressure, you don't come and put yourself in the spotlight at Manchester United if you don't want pressure," she said. "I actually work best under pressure when my back's against the wall and I have to come out fighting, so I want that pressure.

"As staff we want that pressure and we want game day. We want to be in a position where expectation is raised because we want the players to feel that pressure too in terms of having to perform when it counts, thinking clearly under pressure, that's when it counts.

"So there is the badge and the expectation and the pressure, but all of those things for me is why I took the job."

Stoney could not have asked for a bigger game to start. United will play in FA Women's Championship this season, a division below first opponents Liverpool. Their first home game against Reading at Leigh Sports Village is scheduled for Aug. 25 before a first league game at Aston Villa on Sept. 9.

"I am really pleased we have a good test from the off playing Liverpool and then Reading who are both in the league above," said Stoney. "It's a great challenge for our players it's where they want to be and gives ourselves a good chance to test ourselves against some of the best teams in the country and for them individually to test them against some of the best out there."


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