‘We have to be perfect’ – Chelsea must be at their best to reach UWCL final says Hayes

‘We have to be perfect’ – Chelsea must be at their best to reach UWCL final says Hayes
‘We have to be perfect’ – Chelsea must be at their best to reach UWCL final says Hayes

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says that her side must be at their absolute best if they are to see-off FC Barcelona and qualify for this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League final.

The Blues go into the second leg of their semi-final tie at Stamford Bridge holding a narrow 1-0 advantage. Chelsea still have a lot of work to do if they are to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League final for a second time.

When speaking in the pre-match press conference, Chelsea boss Hayes said that her side must have the perfect game against Barcelona this weekend.

“They’re the best team in the world, I’ve said it a million times,” Hayes said. “They know how to be in this position. 

“No matter what they throw at us, whether that’s bringing a false nine lower, overloading to the right-hand side, whether it’s accessing the pivot, whether it’s drawing us out of position, Barcelona can hurt you in so many ways. For us as a team, we have to be so mindful that you can’t switch off for one single second.

“This is a game that is played in the head first and foremost and we know that we have to be perfect to progress.”

The UEFA Women’s Champions League is the one trophy that Hayes hasn’t won with Chelsea but she believes that the players are not thinking about giving her the perfect send-off by winning next month’s final in Bilbao.

She said “Our players play for our badge, our players play for their families and players play for each other. I’m part of that, I’m in a team, it’s not me, it’s us. These players play for this football club to play in every game for Chelsea, not just the one tomorrow.”

More than 35,000 fans are expected to attend this weekend’s tie. Hayes hopes that Chelsea can maintain that strong level of support into next season.

She said “The litmus test of all of that is the first game at Stamford Bridge next season. We need to make sure that our marketing, commercial, comms teams have the right strategy in turning 35,000 tomorrow into 35,000 for the beginning of next season.

“I’m only here to challenge the club and grow the game. Of course, I’m delighted, our girls deserve their opportunity but a win is just one more step in the right direction in growing the women’s game.”

Chelsea’s UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final, second leg tie against FC Barcelona kicks-off at 5.30pm on Saturday evening. Any remaining tickets can be purchased by clicking here.