Mia Fishel says every appearance she makes for Chelsea is 'special' and believes the hard work undertaken on the training pitch was reflected in our 5-0 victory over Sunderland in the Continental Tyres League Cup.

Our excellent form was maintained with a five-star showing against the Championship high-fliers at Kingsmeadow, with a Sjoeke Nusken double putting us in control at half time.

Emma Hayes made eleven changes to the team that defeated Everton at the weekend, but those involved showed no sign of rustiness, with Aggie Beever-Jones firing home just after the break to make it three.

Fishel then teed up Fran Kirby from close range for the fourth, before Kirby rounded off the scoring in injury time. The victory ensured our place in the final four as we look to regain the only domestic trophy that eluded Hayes's team last year.

And our USA international believes that, with every passing minute of game time, she is developing a greater understanding with her Chelsea colleagues.

'I'm proud of the team,' Fishel said after the win. 'Coming in at the quarters was difficult, but we've been working on it all week.

'It was good to see what we've worked on in training coming through in the game. It [the assist for Kirby] was very special.'

The American forward continued: 'I just want to keep improving and keep building connections with my teammates.

'It will take time but each game is special because I am continuing to learn this game and this style of play.'

It is the FA Cup that takes centre stage for Hayes's side this weekend as the Blues host Crystal Palace at Kingsmeadow in the fifth round on Sunday.

'I'm very excited for that game,' added Fishel. 'I think we just need to keep going game by game at the moment and maintain our performance levels. But we're all so excited.'