Emma Hayes has conducted her final pre-match press conference of the season with the Blues one win away from retaining our WSL crown, and the boss spoke about where the focus has been in training in the build-up to our trip to Reading.
Chelsea are two points clear of second-placed Manchester United heading into the last game, and our superior goal difference means even a draw could be enough to seal a fourth consecutive league title, not that Hayes will allow her players to think like that.
The title race going down to the wire is nothing new in the WSL, so Hayes has good memories to draw on as she sets her side up for the season finale.
‘It’s not been difficult to prepare,’ she said at Cobham this afternoon.
‘I think back to every campaign. We have only ever won the league by a couple of points at best, maybe a game somewhere along the line, so this is just business as usual for us. It’s what we had prepared for at the very beginning of the season.
‘What we think is we are exactly where we want to be. We are in a position to control the outcome. Everybody, staff, players, has worked so hard to get to this point.
‘Maintaining the focus, the concentration and the consistency is all I’ve been interested in with them all week, making sure we are in a position to perform tomorrow, so everybody knows their roles, their tasks, and we are in the best mindset. I think we are. We do that consistently well.
‘I am looking forward to seeing a really strong Chelsea fanbase in the crowd, I’m going to encourage the supporters to come,’ added Hayes.
‘We need it. I have to keep reminding the team we are 90 minutes away from winning the title. All my energy is focused on doing that.’
Click to buy tickets to the game at Reading, with Chelsea supporters advised to purchase in blocks Y23 to Y26 and R27 to R28
There was good news earlier this week when Fran Kirby’s contract was extended by a year
‘We’ve really missed Fran,’ said Hayes.
‘I’ve made no secret in the past what a wonderful player I think she is. I’m looking forward to her getting a pre-season under her belt. She is one special talent, generational.
‘For us to have her back hopefully fit, flying, fresh, will feel like a new signing for us next year.’
Millie Bright is injured but Hayes remains hopeful she will feature at the World Cup this summer
‘No update on Millie. She is still in the same place. I am still confident she will make the World Cup.
‘I don’t know what the timelines will be in this period, transitioning her from the Chelsea medical team to the England medical team, but I’m still confident she will make it.’