This afternoon Chelsea Women take on Tottenham Hotspur in front of an expected sold out Stamford Bridge for the opening game of the WSL season. Manager Emma Hayes emphasises how important it is to begin the season strongly, and wants Blues supporters to be cheering loud and clear.
It is a big day for Chelsea as we embark on the pursuit of regaining the WSL title that we won in 2015 and 2018, and it begins with a London derby against league newcomers Tottenham with a 12.30 kick-off.
Last season the Blues had a slow start to the campaign and struggled to find the net which resulted in drawing the opening three games with 0-0 score-lines. Hayes expressed the importance in getting all three points today.
‘I think it’s massively important that we start the season well,’ she told the official Chelsea website.
‘We need to make sure that we are not in a losing position in the league immediately because there is not enough games. I don’t want to focus on the result, I think it’s important to get the performance right.
‘If we do everything in that performance then there is no reason why we won’t compete to win the game. I respect Tottenham and I respect their manager, I know they will make it difficult for us but it’s our home and we have got to start the season off with a bang.
‘I always want to achieve. Winning is what’s successful at this club and for us to progress we have got to get back to winning ways and compete for the league title. Our priorities are going into that and I’m just looking forward to the game now.’
With tickets being sold out and the excitement of matchday activities taking place in and around the stadium, Hayes spoke highly of Chelsea Football Club and praised the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes to promote the fixture.
‘I think that it is the most sold-out game in years is a statement from the club,’ said Hayes. ‘Every department from across the club has been invested in promoting it at the level that they have and it will be a festival of fun for everyone who is coming.
‘There is a lot of fun activities and entertainment throughout the day with world-class talent on show, so the day as a whole is a great start to the season and one that demonstrates why Chelsea lead the way off the pitch.’
The Chelsea boss has guided her team to a number of successes over her seven years in charge, including winning the WSL and FA Women’s Cup twice, plus the FA Spring Series in 2017. Chelsea also reached the Champions League semi-finals for two consecutive seasons, therefore Hayes feels her players will have an advantage over our opposition when it comes to playing in front of a large number of fans.
‘The slight advantage we have is a bit more experience and we’re used to playing in front of bigger crowds,’ she said.
‘We’ve got a lot of international players that are used to be playing at major tournaments and competing for major trophies. So this is not anything that they are experiencing for the first time.
‘For that reason I think it’s a game for us that is all about starting the league campaign in the most positive manner and putting on the type of performance that states our intentions right from the off, and I think we will do that.’
On Saturday, Manchester City hosted Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, the men’s main ground, which attracted more than 31,000 fans and with an expected bumper crowd at Stamford Bridge, Hayes encourages Chelsea fans to show their support.
‘I’m looking forward to a packed house and to welcome a lot of new fans who are coming to the game.
’Sing as loud as you can, I want to hear your voices and players will want to too,’ urged Hayes. ‘Clap, wave and give our players the best environment possible and we in turn will make sure we give you the best show as possible.’
Read: Chelsea Women v Tottenham Women preview.
There is plenty of pre-match entertainment today!