Chelsea Women face Wolfsburg in the Champions League on Wednesday and Emma Hayes says the experience of reaching last season’s final has improved her side.
In our opening group stage fixture, Chelsea host Wolfsburg at Kingsmeadow tomorrow evening and the Blues will be hoping for a similar outcome to when the two sides last met.
On our way to the Champions League final, Hayes’s side beat Wolfsburg 5-1 over two legs and the Blues boss believes her side are better equipped because of last year’s European journey.
She said: ‘It’s the same from any loss you have. You take from it what you need, and you discard the rest. You don’t get preoccupied on the losses for too long.
‘From my perspective, I think we’ve gained another year's experience.
‘When you are in this environment, you know you have got many competitions to play for. Our preoccupation is on our daily practice and competing for every trophy.
‘We always want to win all of them, including the Champions League and I believe we are one year better because of that experience last year.’
The Blues beat Wolfsburg in the opening leg 2-1 and came away from the return fixture 3-0 winners, but Hayes is wary of the threat her side will face tomorrow evening.
Hayes added: ‘German teams have got unbelievable results over the years in Europe. We respect Wolfsburg as a team.
‘They’ve recruited, they’ve got a new coach. They are still in the early stages of their team development under their new coach but what I know with a Wolfsburg team is they are unbelievably athletic. It will be a high intensity game.’
Chelsea supporters had to watch from home as the Blues made it to our first Champions League final last season.
Speaking in her pre-match press conference, Hayes praised Chelsea fans for their support during recent fixtures and highlighted the impact they have on her players in the big moments.
‘The connection between us both is one that has grown year on year,’ said Hayes.
‘They demand a lot of us, like we do ourselves and we’ve delivered. For many years, we’ve delivered a team that has competed at the top end and it’s not easy to keep doing that but with our fans they give us that lift we need, especially in the top moments.
‘Our fans are special. We had a couple of bus loads travel to Birmingham last week and we had more fans than Birmingham. It was the same with Manchester United away, amazing support.
‘It goes two ways. They’ve got an amazing team to support and they appreciate us as much as we appreciate them. I sing every song with them every week. In fact, my son now sings two or three of them and I’ve never taught him one song, but he sings them because he’s been picking them up week on week.’
Tomorrow’s clash against Wolfsburg kicks-off at 8pm and tickets for the game can be purchased here.
Before then, get involved in our new Women's Play Predictor for a chance to win some great prizes! Play on the 5th Stand app and make your selections for the game before registration closes.