On Sunday Chelsea Women thumped West Ham 8-0 – our biggest league victory this term – and manager Emma Hayes believes her in-form side can achieve anything
The Blues produced a fantastic attacking display in front of more than 3000 supporters at Kingsmeadow, with six different goalscorers finding the net against London rivals West Ham.
Maren Mjelde and Bethany England netted a brace apiece while Sophie Ingle, Erin Cuthbert, Ramona Bachmann and Emily Murphy also contributed in front of goal.
Women’s report: Chelsea 8-0 West Ham
‘I thought the team were relentless,’ Hayes said. ‘I thought that was the most impressive part about it. It was a tremendous effort from everyone and we thoroughly deserved it.
‘I didn’t expect that but that’s the beauty of momentum and winning results and winning positions is that it breads confidence. There is a huge confidence in the group at the moment.
‘I believe in the squad, I believe in the team and the spirit inside this group has probably been the best since I’ve been at the club and with that we can achieve absolutely anything.’
The scoreline represents our biggest victory of the campaign and Hayes thinks her team’s performance levels are reaching new heights as the season progresses.
‘The players are adapting, it doesn’t matter who you are, they are coming into the team and are doing the jobs that are asked of them. They are performing at a level that is asked of them every week that is improving and taking us to higher places.
‘No one player is safe in this team and you have to produce performances to get in it and that’s the key message from me for the squad. Everybody is willing to do something or everything for each other. That's one of the hardest things to achieve in the team although it seems obvious.
‘So the fact that the team are challenging each other to find higher levels every week shows that they buy into the concept of the team and it’s a selfless task that they demonstrate.’
Hayes was pleased with striker Ramona Bachmann for netting her first goal of the season, and she also took the time to praise 16-year-old Emily Murphy for scoring her maiden WSL goal.
‘It’s such a relief for her [Bachmann], I’m happy for her. That’s a real pressure as a striker when you don’t score so hopefully now that will kick her on to score more goals for the rest of the season because her contribution could be vital for this team in the running.
‘Lucky me to have Emily [Murphy], I say it all the time that I’m an incredibly lucky coach to have the quality of the players and the backroom staff that I have and for that reason we’re fighting on all fronts.'
Another player who impressed the Chelsea boss was WSL Player of the Month England, who has now brought her season tally to 17 goals in all competitions.
The fans at our KT1 home were singing ‘England for England’ and Hayes hopes that the 25-year-old forward – who got her first Lionesses call-up in August – will continue to get rewarded at international level.
‘Beth [England] is a dream to work with, a fantastic team player and I’ve said it before, in England she is the best No.9 for this country. Hopefully she will start to be rewarded for that – I thought her and Erin [Cuthbert] were menacing today.’
Next up for the Blues is a trip to Manchester United, the second meeting in a space of 11 days having visited the North-West team for the Continental Tyres League Cup semi-final last Wednesday.
We edged a 1-0 victory to reach the final for the first time in our history thanks to a second-half goal from Mjelde, and Hayes knows it will not be an easy task against former Chelsea player Casey Stoney’s youthful United team.
‘They are a great team, they really are,’ Hayes admitted. ‘Casey’s [Stoney] done a great job, they make it really difficult and I expect Sunday will be the same.
‘Our objective is to win the title so there is no point denying that but you won’t win the title thinking about the title, dreaming about the title, you have to work daily to be in the running for that.’
Chelsea's next home game is on Wednesday 12 February against Birmingham City in the WSL. Tickets are priced at £9 for adults and £1 for juniors and seniors.