Interview

Emma Hayes sets Chelsea Women priority for Sunday’s big game at City

Manager Emma Hayes has highlighted Chelsea Women’s huge achievement in reaching a sixth FA Cup semi-final in a row, but she says it will count for little on Sunday if we do not beat Manchester City to secure a place in the final.

Apart from in her first full season at the club, in 2013, Hayes has led us into the last four of the biggest domestic cup competition every year, winning three of them and going on to lift the trophy twice.

All three of those semi-final victories have come against Manchester City, who we meet again at this stage of the competition on Sunday, with kick-off at the Academy Stadium set for 3.30pm. Supporters not travelling to the North-West can watch the game live on BBC Two.

With our WSL title defence now officially over, Hayes has set her sights on lifting the only domestic trophy still within our grasp.

‘It's important you get to these positions, and we've done that every year in the FA Cup – this is our sixth semi-final in a row, which is a great achievement,’ she said. ‘But we want to go to the final, it's that simple. And if we want to do that, we need to impose ourselves on this game.

‘These are two of the best teams in the country and there's not a lot of difference between us. The challenge for us is to manage the pressure and the expectation, and we’ll give everything we possibly can to make sure we're in another final.’
 

And while the lure of playing at Wembley for a fourth time is an obvious motivator, nobody will be getting carried away with that fact, with such a huge game in front of the players.

‘It is obviously something everybody thinks about, but it's important we concentrate solely on the semi-final,’ added Hayes. ‘If you get too far ahead, start thinking about the next game, you don't concentrate on what you need to. My squad will remain fully focused on beating Manchester City.’


Tickets for Chelsea Women's final home game of the season - against Lyon in the Champions League semi-final on Sunday 28 April - are now available

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