Manchester United are focusing on ‘the bigger picture’ after starting their first Women’s Super League season with successive defeats, says Mary Earps.
The goalkeeper was one of United’s stand out performers on Monday night as they pushed champions Arsenal all the way, before Danielle van de Donk’s last minute strike secured a 1-0 win.
It followed a defeat by the same scoreline against Manchester City last week, but Earps believes the newly-promoted Red Devils can be proud of their first two games in the division.
“It’s about seeing the bigger picture,” she said.
“Of course, on the night, you come away and you go: ‘if only that hadn’t happened’.
“But if you had said to us that these were going to be the results, I think realistically we’d have been pretty pleased to take it to the wire with both teams.
“Unfortunately, football’s a bit more emotional and not as black and white as that, but we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground.
“The way I feel is that if we put in those performances consistently, week in week out throughout the season, we won’t be far off these teams in terms of points, and not just 1-0 [results] on the day.
“I think we can walk away from these performances with real pride,” the 26-year-old continued.
“If we can continue to perform at these levels throughout the season, I think we’ll be really pleased with where we end up.
“I think a lot of people will have written us off coming into this season, but now maybe they’ll turn their heads and think twice when they hear Manchester United Women.”
After taking on last season’s top two, Casey Stoney’s side now face some much kinder fixtures.
Their first sees them take on Liverpool in two weeks’ time, and Earps is confident that the team can continue their impressive performances which has seen them create plenty of chances, but also defend brilliantly.
“Casey’s obviously big on being organised at the back and communicating and that willingness to defend," she said.
“It’s in her blood from all her years playing as a centre half so, for sure that plays a role.
“She definitely gees us up for the game and gives us that extra level of defensive detail.”
Stoney’s management style is a key factor in Earps enjoying her return to English football so far too, having signed for the club in the summer from Wolfsburg.
“I’m really enjoying it at Man Utd. I think the league’s growing stronger and stronger,” the England international said.
“I knew that if I was going to come back from playing abroad, I wanted it to be for something that was exciting, for an opportunity that could potentially be long term, that’s kind of how I wanted to see it.
“It wasn’t necessarily: ‘oh I really want to come back to England’, though my mum and dad would love to say that was the reason!
“I would have quite happily stayed away for longer. It’s just more about football and, for me, I’m loving my time at the club so far.
“I know it’s only been a short time but that’s the most important thing for me, just enjoying football and keep trying to improve myself and develop as a player.”