Chelsea FC Women boss Emma Hayes spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s Continental Tyres League Cup final against Manchester City tomorrow, reporting on how her players have been in training and giving the latest injury news...
She said her squad has been preparing well to face Manchester City in the Conti Cup final tomorrow, with the Blues looking to win the trophy for the third consecutive year. Hayes has been impressed with her side’s ability to focus on the football in what has been a looked-upon week at the club.
Speaking at Cobham this afternoon, Hayes said: ‘I can’t control what’s being said in the media, what I know is that the team are focused and ready for another cup final tomorrow.
‘The players are focused on playing, I’m focused on managing and nothing will get in the way of us preparing properly for a game tomorrow.’
‘Let’s not forget here, there is a war going on. This might be a new situation for a lot of people and we as human beings feel a sadness about that.
‘I really love the way we trained today, for us to be in the position to go in the final tomorrow. Yes, difficult news internally but to manage the way that we have, the players really impressed me today.’
Addressing wider speculation around the club’s future, Hayes added: ‘Chelsea Football Club has and always will be a significant force in the game, and while we will have a new owner I expect that the environment we’ve created across the club, a family-like feel where we look after each other, something we have all done this week, will remain.
‘We will come through this period and adapt and evolve as you have to in this business while there is uncertainty. Athletes know that. Footballers know that no things remain the same and having that ability to acknowledge change when it happens, adapt and evolve to that, is what makes top-class players what they are.’
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s fixture, Hayes is relishing the chance of a first for the Blues.
‘We’ve never played City in a final. We’ve had epic cup games over the years but to play in a final… I think both teams really wanted to face each other in a final and we got our wish!
‘When it comes to playing City, I just love those games! Every manager enjoys certain types of games, I particularly like the Man City game and I really believe that Man City particularly love the games against us.
‘This is a game that both teams love to play, maybe because in the last six, seven years in particular it’s been so closely contested. I really respect them as a football club and what they’ve done for women’s football.
‘I’m just looking forward to watching them [my players] run out together as title holders, as holders of the Conti Cup. I am under no illusions about the quality of the opponent we face. There is no dressing room I’d rather be in than the one that I’m in.’
The boss provided an update on team news ahead of tomorrow’s clash, revealing club captain Magdalena Eriksson will be involved with the squad as well as Maren Mjelde, who was injured in last year’s Conti Cup final.
Hayes also revealed that Erin Cuthbert and Melanie Leupolz will not be involved with the team tomorrow.
The Conti Cup final kicks of at 5.15pm UK time and will be broadcast live on BBC Two and the FA Player. Fans can get all the behind-the-scenes action from our Instagram show live from the stadium in the lead up to kick-off.