Midfielder Niamh Charles believes she has taken her game to another level since joining Chelsea FC Women.

Charles made the switch from Liverpool to Chelsea in June and has made 10 appearances for the Blues in which she has impressed manager Emma Hayes.Hayes praised the youngster following our second leg victory over Benfica, predicting a bright future for Charles and the Wirral-born attacking midfielder believes working with the Chelsea manager and her new team-mates has helped develop her game.‘I think I’ve massively improved. I came in during uncertain times and it’s never going to be normal,’ Charles said.‘The first half of the season has flown and the biggest thing for me is my tactical development on the pitch and on the training ground. Learning the Chelsea way of playing and understanding more about the philosophy and I’ve been learning off incredible players and incredible coaches.’

Charles made her first Champions League start in our 3-0 victory over Benfica at Kingsmeadow and the 21-year-old says making her debut in the competition was a dream come true.‘My highlight was probably playing in the Champions League for the first time over the last few weeks,’ she revealed.‘It’s something I’ve never done before and it’s such a massive achievement and it was a dream of mine to do. For young girls now to look up and say I can play in the Champions League when I’m older, I think it’s brilliant.’

Charles, along with her team-mates, is taking a break for Christmas and she highlights the importance of some much-needed rest to ensure the Blues come back ready to carry our fine form into the second half of the season.‘I think going into the Christmas break it’s important to know when we can relax and switch off so we are ready come January to fully switch back on, hit the ground running and not wait to get back into our stride.‘We want hit the ground running in our first game back and find our form again so it’s important that we switch off at the right moments so that when it comes to January we are able to switch back on and kick on for the latter part of the season.'