Emma Hayes, the accomplished coach of Chelsea Women’s team, has emphasized her unwavering dedication to steering her team towards triumph in Europe. Having served Chelsea admirably for 11 years, Hayes has already clinched multiple national accolades, including six Women’s Super League championships, five FA Cups, and two League Cup victories. Nevertheless, the one coveted prize that has eluded her grasp is the UEFA Women’s Champions League title, and she is resolute in her determination to alter that outcome.
On Thursday, Hayes’ quest for European glory persists as Paris FC pays a visit to Stamford Bridge. In spite of speculation regarding her future, Hayes remains dedicated to Chelsea and dismissed inquiries about other job prospects. She emphasized, “I am fully focused on Chelsea. Although I have had discussions with individuals, I won’t commence working there until May. They have expressed their generosity thus far, but my objective is to discuss Chelsea.”
During the previous season, Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League but were ultimately defeated by Barcelona, who eventually became the winners. In this season, they initiated their campaign with a controversial 2-2 draw against Real Madrid, wherein a late goal from Niamh Charles was disallowed due to a questionable offside decision. Paris FC, the team they will face next, is seeking to recover from a home loss against Hacken, a Swedish team, with a score of 2-1 in their first group match. Despite reaching the semi-finals in the 2012/13 season, Paris FC will bring a fresh set of challenges for Chelsea.
Sam Kerr, the midfielder for Chelsea, has cautioned her fellow players against underestimating their French rivals. Kerr, who contributed a goal in Chelsea’s dominant 5-1 win against Liverpool in the Women’s Super League, highlighted the demanding nature of the Champions League. She expressed admiration for every team in our group, but we approach each match with the intention to emerge victorious. The concept of must-win games doesn’t occupy my thoughts; my focus lies solely on delivering a remarkable performance. In the Champions League, it is imperative to refrain from dwelling on the past or pondering the future.
Unfortunately, Chelsea has received unfavorable news as defender Millie Bright’s availability for the upcoming match remains uncertain. Bright, who was absent during the triumph against Liverpool, is currently considered as having a 50/50 chance of participating in the game. Hayes clarified, “Due to the frequent matches, we are carefully monitoring her workload. We intended to grant her some additional rest, however, her availability for tomorrow’s game remains uncertain. Our decisions regarding her participation will be made on a day-to-day basis.”
Even if Bright is potentially unable to play, Chelsea remains resolute in their objective to achieve a triumph and advance further in their quest for European success.