Emma Hayes is excited about the return of our Blues fans for this weekend’s game against Everton at Kingsmeadow.
Chelsea head into our first home game of the new Barclays FA Women’s Super League campaign hoping to sign off for the international break by securing three points against the Toffees on Sunday. Those supporters attending at Kingsmeadow are reminded of new regulations regarding bag sizes and Covid-19 requirements. Click here for more information.
Speaking in a press conference earlier on Friday, Hayes reported a good week of training and claimed the return of our supporters can have a positive impact on the team’s performance.
She said: ‘We’ve trained as usual and we’ve had really good sessions. It’s been great to have all the players back together over the last couple of weeks.
‘We’ve been preparing as we normally would and looking forward to being back with our home fans on Sunday.
‘For any game, it [the return of fans] will increase the tempo. You saw at the Emirates last week that it was a quality product and I’m sure it will be the same week-in. week-out as long as the crowds are good. It can only add to the quality of the game.’
Chelsea opted for a back three in our opening fixture against Arsenal and that was the same for Sunday’s opponents Everton during their first half against Manchester City.
Hayes touched on her side's ability to change playing style and says Chelsea will be prepared for however Everton choose to set up for Sunday’s clash.
‘During my time here, I’ve always played multiple ways,' she explained. 'I’ve always changed between formations. You do it for every week. It’s what teams do. Only a couple of teams are extremely rigid so we’ll be prepared for that.
‘It’s all about winning the game. For us, we must keep preparing on a playing style and make sure everyone’s roles are clear for the weekend.’
While speaking to the media ahead of our game against Everton, Hayes gave an update on the availability of Lauren James and Maren Mjelde, as well as revealing her plans for summer addition Aniek Nouwen.
She added: ‘We're still taking our time with Lauren to get things right so there's no timeline for that. With Maren, there is no timeline although I believe she will be back with the group this week.'
When asked about Blues defender Nouwen, Hayes added: ‘She’s been playing at a lower level with PSV. The Dutch league is a drop-off from here.
‘She’s been getting used to the tempo and the pace and as she stated in her interview, she’s already doing that.
‘She’s part of the squad. She’s just settling in having only been here a couple of weeks. I’m sure you will see plenty of her.’
Sunday’s game against Everton at Kingsmeadow kicks off at 12.30pm and is available to watch live on BBC Two. Before then, get involved in our Women's Play Predictor for a chance to win some great prizes! Just head over to the 5th Stand app and make your selections for the game before registration closes.