It is a cup-tie week for Chelsea Women with two home matches in two domestic competitions and Emma Hayes is treating them in the same manner as the forthcoming matches in the Champions League, a challenge she now knows more about.

At the weekend, Crystal Palace visit in the FA Cup. But tomorrow night, the Blues host Sunderland, the side currently in second place in the second tier of the league, with the prize at stake a place in the semi-finals of the Continental Tyres League Cup.

‘I have so much respect for that football club and that region when you consider the quality of players that have been produced over the years,’ said Hayes on Tuesday afternoon as she looked ahead to the game.

‘I told the players that earlier. It has a really rich football heritage and the team and the history I respect.

‘Guarding against complacency always starts with me, and I respect everyone,’ she added.

‘I always present the preparation almost identically; I don't pick between opponents. It’s the same no matter who we play and that level of prep both on and off the pitch is a habit we have all developed in my time here.

‘Everybody in our dressing room knows that respecting the opponent is making sure you're prepared the best way possible, and that's the case going into the game tomorrow. Everybody's ready for it, even though we've only had one day of training.’

Hayes reported she has no new injury concerns as she prepares to name a 20-player squad. She confirmed there will be changes to the team but as ever, she trusts the whole squad.

One player she definitely cannot call upon is midfielder Katerina Svitkova, who went on loan to Slavia Prague in her homeland this week.

‘Katerina was due to go out on loan in September but a meniscus knee injury was still causing some problems,’ the manager reported.

‘So she's had to spend a lot of the time from then to now getting herself into the best place possible. Injury has hampered her time at Chelsea.

‘While there might have been some other options, knowing that she's going to Slavia Prague, where she can build her fitness back and play regularly, gives her the best possible chance for her future. Regarding her future beyond this season, you'll have to ask the next manager.’

Earlier in the day, Hayes learned her side will take on Ajax in our Champions League quarter-final. The Amsterdam club progressed as runners-up to Paris St-Germain in a group that also contained Bayern Munich and Roma.

‘They’re a really, really good team,’ Hayes stated. ‘I’ve watched them and we played them in a recent pre-season game and I was impressed with them then. They are a great young group coming through and thoroughly deserve to be where they are. It's as tough a game as we could expect for a quarter-final.

‘Going away from home in the first leg we need to use all of our experience because Ajax have proven against top teams already that they deserve to be where they are.’

The beginning of Chelsea’s League Cup campaign on Wednesday night could prompt dreams of a quadruple for the Blues this season, but Hayes is not joining in with those.

‘Most of the time I dream about just getting through the day. I don't occupy my mind thinking about that [the quadruple].

‘We're where we want to be today and that is all I can ask of the squad. We need to take care of business tomorrow against a very historic team. The fact we’ve got four games in a row at Kingsmeadow is something we're definitely investing all our energy into.’