WOMEN'S WEEKLY

Posted on: Thu 13 Sep 2012

Successive defeats, albeit against strong opposition, have ensured Emma Hayes' reign has got off to a difficult start, but with two games left to play, there is still plenty for the Chelsea Ladies left to prove, as the manager explains…

Having been beaten 1-0 at Birmingham in our previous encounter, Chelsea Ladies were eager to get back to winning ways when we faced Everton at Marine FC last Sunday.

It wasn't to be, however, as the Blues suffered back-to-back defeats, eventually going down 2-1 despite a late rally.

Both teams had their share of chances in what was a fairly entertaining first half, but it was the hosts who took the lead shortly after the break when Toni Duggan scored with a long-range effort.

Six minutes from time our misery was compounded when Gwen Harries fired home a second for Everton, and while our latest signing, Adriana Martin, netted a consolation goal in injury-time - her first for the club - the damage had already been done.

Manager Emma Hayes was disappointed at the final whistle, but stressed that there had been positives to take, even in defeat.

'It wasn't our best performance,' she tells the official Chelsea website. 'We struggled to get our passing game going and had problems in the final third, so that was disappointing.

'We finished the game stronger, though, and with another 10 minutes on the clock we would have equalised, and that was the biggest positive to come out of the game.'

It's been a difficult start to her time in chargefor Hayes, who took over following the departure Matt Beard.

Three points from a possible nine is not the type of return she will have been hoping for when she took the job, but she has seen more than enough from her side to suggest that there is certainly cause for optimism long-term.

'The effort and output is there, but trying to get them to play a certain way takes a long time,' she says.

'They're making mistakes trying to implement changes. Our main focus at the moment is on performance rather than results, and we want to finish as strongly as we can.

'If we want to improve I need to see which players are going to be a part of the squad going forward, so performances are vitally important.'

We play our penultimate game of the season away at Bristol Academy on Saturday 22 September.