Analysis

Emma Hayes: A whole squad effort

Chelsea Women are in fine form having won four games on the bounce, with the latest being a 3-0 triumph against Crystal Palace in the Continental Tyres Cup. Emma Hayes reveals how important every member of her squad is in our search for silverware.

The Blues recorded our second win of the Continental Cup yesterday when we travelled across south London to Championship side Crystal Palace.

It took Hayes’ team until the second half to find a break through despite having multiple chances to go ahead in the first 45 minutes.

Bethany England got us up and running with two quick-fire goals 10 minutes into the second half when she tapped home a cross by Maren Mjelde and then headed in an Erin Cuthbert free-kick.

Drew Spence added the finishing touches and scored her first goal of the season when England unselfishly teed up her team-mate to slot past the opposition’s goalkeeper.

Read: Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea match report.

Hayes rested a handful of regular starters and gave other squad members an opportunity to impress, with only four names retaining their place in the starting XI.

‘I made it clear last week that we won’t compete for anything without the whole squad,’ Hayes stated.

‘Different weeks we require different players to have different roles and this week was an opportunity for players that have been so superb in the background. They are disappointed of course not to get into the team on a regular basis, they wait patiently yet push and represent the football club in a way that we’ve always asked.

‘I’m happy for the players who got a game because it’s always disappointing to leave players on the side.

‘It’s not easy, everyone seems to think it’s an easy process – there are disappointments every week with players who are not in the team,’ she continued.

‘But we work hard to give a lot of the individual feedback and development programmes to make sure that we support the players in their progression and get everybody to understand that it’s a whole season, not a single game.’

It was a frustrating afternoon for Anita Asante, who began the game in midfield, as she was forced to make way after taking a knock within 10 minutes play.

‘I’m gutted for her [Asante] and the dressing room will be too because she’s such a pivotal part of this team. She’s an experienced player who brings a lot to the dressing room and I know everyone will be disappointed for her, but I don’t think it will be that bad.

‘Anything can happen, things change really quickly and you’ve got to be ready, that’s what I educate my players on,’ answered Hayes when asked about Asante’s early departure from the field.

Chelsea remain on the road and travel to West Ham United on Sunday in the WSL, before making the trip to Lewes in the Continental Tyres Cup on Saturday 2 November.

We return to Kingsmeadow on Sunday 17 November where we welcome Manchester United for the first time ever. Kick-off is at 2pm and tickets can be purchased here.

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