Analysis

Hayes: It’s about winning

Emma Hayes believes Chelsea FC Women are showing signs of being a great team having now stretched our unbeaten run to an impressive 22 games this season, with the latest victory coming against Birmingham City on Wednesday night.

It took the Blues the best part of 45 minutes to break down Birmingham who had come to Kingsmeadow with a strong defensive game-plan.

However, our Norwegian attacking midfielder Guro Reiten scored the opener on the stroke of half-time when she poked home from close range to notch her sixth goal of the season.

The Blues’ lead was doubled not long into the second half when Erin Cuthbert flicked the ball over the top to Bethany England, who tucked away her finish with sheer class to complete the 2-0 win against the Midlands side.

Read: Chelsea 2-0 Birmingham report

It is a pivotal part of the season for Chelsea who are in contention for the Women’s Super League title, with the Blues just one point behind league leaders Manchester City with a game in hand and Hayes sees great potential in her team.

She said: ‘The players are hungry, they are three points further ahead. We can win different ways. It’s definitely sign of a great team but time will tell.’

Although Hayes’ in-form Chelsea side secured all three points against Birmingham, the Blues boss admitted our visitors made it difficult for us to break them down.

‘If we all think every game is going to be a crescendo moment then we are mistaken,’ Hayes said. ‘It’s about winning and winning however we need to win and we’ve done that.

‘Birmingham have got to stay in the league, they have got to do everything they can to get a point and they are chasing points to stay up. They set up brilliantly in the first half and made it difficult for us. I thought they disrupted our play, it was sluggish and our quality in possession was poor by our standards, but there is enough quality in the team at the right moments.

 

Maria Thorisdottir returned to the squad after a lengthy spell out due to injury and came off the substitutes’ bench for the last quarter of the encounter, replacing Sophie Ingle in midfield. Hayes spoke about her delight at the Norwegian’s return to fitness and said: ‘I’m so happy, she’s [Thorisdottir] been through a lot.

‘She was really starting to flourish and blossom and then that injury came at a poor time.

‘She’s such a popular member of the dressing room and I think everybody was willing her on tonight and I’m so happy for her.’

Chelsea’s next game takes place at Kingsmeadow where we host Liverpool in the fifth round of the Women’s FA Cup. Kick-off is at 12.30pm and tickets cost £9 for adults and £1 for juniors and seniors.

Click here to buy tickets!

The following Sunday the Blues travel to Manchester City for a top-of-the-table clash and Chelsea are offering subsidised supporters coach.

Book a seat now! 

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