Casey Stoney praises Lauren James after scoring in Man United Women's Old Trafford bow

Casey Stoney praises Lauren James’ ‘mature’ display after scoring in Man United Women’s Old Trafford bow… as manager laments that the teenager – who spoke out on racial abuse – has ‘been through some horrendous stuff’

  • Manchester United women beat West Ham women 2-0 at Old Trafford   
  • Casey Stoney also praised Lauren James for her much improved work-rate 
  • Stoney says she’s being educated by the 19-year-old on the abuse she’s suffered
  • Christen Press scored the second for the Red Devils to seal the win on Saturday 

Manchester United Women boss Casey Stoney hailed the ‘mature’ performance of Lauren James after the 19-year-old scored the club’s first ever goal at Old Trafford in a 2-0 victory over West Ham.

The midfielder headed United into a 1-0 lead at the start of the second half before Christen Press doubled their advantage in the 55th minute.

James was making only her second start of the season after encountering several injury problems and last month she spoke out about the racial abuse she has suffered on social media.

Lauren James (left) scored Manchester United women's team's first goal at Old Trafford

Lauren James (left) scored Manchester United women’s team’s first goal at Old Trafford

Casey Stoney praised James for her ‘mature’ display during their 2-0 win over West Ham 

‘I’ve seen a huge maturity from her,’ Stoney said.

‘I’ve learned a lot from her and what she’s experienced and she’s educating me in terms of what she has to face day in day out. 

‘Like I said at the time, I think it’s sad that it’s water off a duck’s back for her but at the same time to be able to just focus on her football, to flick that switch and say I’m here to play football and have fun, I think she did that today.

‘I’m really pleased for her as an individual, but we need to keep making sure we’re supporting her and not forgetting that she has been through some horrendous stuff in the last month.’

The Manchester United and England star has been the target of racist abuse on social media

The Manchester United and England star has been the target of racist abuse on social media

James, sister of Chelsea and England international Reece, was constantly trying to make things happen and looked at home on the Old Trafford turf.

Her hard work was rewarded when she was able to get on the end of Maria Thorisdottir’s header at the back-post to flick the ball over the line from two-yards out.

Stoney was also pleased with the midfielder’s work-rate and willingness to win the ball back for her team-mates.

‘It’s a mature performance from her and obviously she’ll be really pleased that she’s scored,’ Stoney added. 

Stoney also praised James' improved work rate and believes she's in a good place physically

Stoney also praised James’ improved work rate and believes she’s in a good place physically

‘We’ve been having conversations about it (her work-rate) for three years and I think she’s now showing that side of her game. She’s coming back from injury so she does it in fits and starts but it’s that mentality to want to do it now, she’s really showing that side for the team because we know what she can do when she’s got the ball.

‘I probably wouldn’t take any credit for her journey, I’ve supported her, I’ve challenged her and she knows that she’s going to get that challenge from me because that out of possession stuff is non-negotiable.

‘She’s physically in a good place. I thought she showed real desire today to want to work for the team. I think sometimes I need to remember that she’s still very young, sometimes it’s a little bit of a switch that goes on in the brain in terms of development.’


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