Emma Hayes couldn’t hide her frustration after Chelsea Women had to settle for a point at Liverpool on Sunday, but insists the Blues remain in the hunt for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League title going in to the Christmas break.
Heavy rainfall made for tricky conditions in Merseyside and the challenge for the Blues was even tougher when Niamh Charles put the hosts ahead after just five minutes. Bethany England equalised for Chelsea 10 minutes later but despite dominating from then on, Hayes’s side were unable to grab a winner.With nearest rivals Arsenal and Manchester City winning, the Blues end the year in third, albeit with a game in hand over the top two.And while Hayes was disappointed not to take all three points, she knows there are no prizes for topping the table at this time of year.
‘Liverpool performed well, they made it difficult,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘Them getting the first goal made it that much more difficult but we should have been out of sight at half-time and the lack of efficiency in front of goal is the reason why I’m talking about a draw and not three points.
‘It’s disappointing, we aim to win every game but I won’t know until the end if it’s a point gained or two points dropped. There are no trophies in the cabinet and I don’t have any emotions until they are there.‘You have to remember the starting objective was to not be out of the title hunt and I don’t think we are. We’re unbeaten, we’ve got new signings coming in and I’ll take the positives up until now at this point of the season and who knows if it’s a point gained or two points dropped – we’ll only know at the end.’The trip to Merseyside came at the end of a busy week for the Blues with two FA WSL games either side of a Continental League Cup match with Reading. But despite admitting she was short on options Hayes was not prepared to make excuses for the result, instead asking for calm minds and a period of reflection ahead of returning to training later this month.‘If you want to win titles, you have to learn to come to places like this and get three points,’ she added.‘I need to watch it back to fully reflect, I have got 10 days to look at that result and it is what it is, it’s a point.‘The squad looked thin this week, we’ve had limited options but I think it’s important when you have a result to be calm in the mind and have a look at it and make sure we’re ready for when they come back in.
'Did we have enough chances to win the game? Yes. We should be coming into half-time leading easily and it was the poorest goal we’re going to concede all season.‘I don’t think we won enough second balls in the first 15 minutes and it’s important we do that. It took us too long to be awake to that and all of a sudden you’re 1-0 and you’re chasing.‘The players care, the players are trying, they want to do well. I don’t want to hammer them, I think they are disappointed but all they can control is that they are going to have to go and win every game in the second half of the season.’
The Blues return to league action on Sunday 5 January at Kingsmeadow when we take on Reading. Kick-off is at 12.30pm and tickets are still available to buy.