Manager Emma Hayes praised the good work from the Chelsea FC Women forwards after beating West Ham 3-2 in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League at Kingsmeadow and she hopes to build momentum going into our run of games this December.
The Blues welcomed fans back to our KT1 home for the first time since February on Sunday, and Hayes’ team gave them something to cheer about as we extended our unbeaten run in the league to 28 games courtesy of a Sam Kerr hat-trick.‘We’ve had two cancellations, lots of international breaks so I’m just really excited about this period to find some momentum because we really need it. We’ve got it in training we just need it in games and no stop-starting,’ the Chelsea boss said post-match.‘In terms of the hat-trick, I want to talk about the amount of running that players around her Sam Kerr are doing to help with that.‘In particular I want to talk about the work that Beth England did to make sure she was making selfless decisions to clear space at the right time for Fran Kirby to do selfless tasks in creating and assisting to get someone like Sam a goal.‘Sam as I’ve said before is a great team player and one that perhaps at times puts the team ahead of herself and we’ve been working hard with her behind the scenes to make sure she recognises the right moments of when to be selfish and when to be selfless and I could say the same about the other forwards – Real credit to Beth and Fran too for Sam’s hat-trick.‘For me it was a day of celebrating the work of the forwards and their contribution to getting Sam’s hat-trick. I thought it was a great contribution from the bench from Millie [Bright], Erin [Cuthbert], Guro [Reiten] and Sophie [Ingle] I thought made the difference for us in the second half,’ Hayes continued.
Yesterday’s victory meant that we have set a new Women’s Super League record of 12 consecutive home victories and Hayes hailed her squad for the achievement, while praising the fans for their fantastic support.‘We always spend so much time looking at what we could do to improve, what should be better etc. instead of celebrating the wonderful achievements of this team over that time including that stat.‘It’s not easy to remain undefeated and have that home record – you have to be at the top of your game to do it for as long as we have done and I think it’s a real testament to the work that goes on by everybody here.‘I’m over the moon that the team got to experience that and do it in front of our fans. It’s brilliant, it felt like 20,000 in here, especially the second half when the team was attacking in front of them.‘I’ve said before about momentum and the impact of the crowd and I don’t think there was no coincidence that we improved our attacking play in the second half with the fans there. That’s why we did well because the fans drove us on.’
It was a special day for Ji So-Yun as our playmaker became the first non-British player to reach 100 WSL appearances yesterday and the Chelsea boss spoke about the South Koreans’ impressive achievement.‘Well I said to Ji when I signed her I never thought that I would see this because the abilities of Ji So-Yun are good enough to play for any team in the world.‘I value the faith and trust that she’s placed in me to coach her and the commitment and loyalty she’s shown to the club over the years.‘It’s a proud day for her and her family because I know how much Chelsea means to her and I’m extremely proud of her.’Hayes also spoke about Kirby’s resilience having recovered from another injury setback. The Chelsea No.14 play played the full match and made an impact on the game with two assists and a typically energetic performance throughout.‘This is someone who’s gone through a lot and she’s had to sit on the side lines and watch and value how important her career is.
‘That time, that reflection and that healing has given her a whole new meaning. She says to me every day that ‘’I’m going to play like it’s my last and I’m going to play every day like I’m earning my next contract” and I think that’s an extremely positive mindset.‘She manages setbacks well, she’s matured, she’s responsible, she’s selfless and I’m fortunate to be in a position to have coached her in my career and I’m extremely grateful for that.She’s been waiting for this for a little while, she’s been desperate to see the fans and desperate to not sit in the stand with them.‘For her today it was another big milestone and I’ve always said she’s a national treasure and we must look after her the best we can.’Chelsea now turn our attentions to our Champions League campaign which begins on Wednesday. The Blues will travel to Portugal to take on Benfica in the first leg of the round of 32, which has a kick-off of 3pm (UK).