07 December 2021

Emma Hayes unfazed by prospect of Juventus tie three days after winning FA Cup

07 December 2021

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said it was “business as usual” for her players as they prepared for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus having secured FA Cup glory at the weekend.

Sunday’s 3-0 Wembley success over Arsenal in the delayed FA Cup final sealed a 2020-21 domestic treble for Hayes’ side, adding to the League Cup and Women’s Super League titles they won last term.

And the manager is unfazed at the prospect of heading into another big game just three days later, saying such demands are now “not unusual” for her high-achieving charges.

Sam Kerr (right) scored twice as Chelsea beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Sunday (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

“We’ve been here so many times and because of that we just know how to do it,” Hayes said.

“It’s not unusual for us any more to be in a cup final at Wembley, or play Juventus three days later. This is normal for us so I just think it’s business as usual.”

Chelsea sit top of Champions League Group A on 10 points from their first four matches, with Juve – coached by former Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro – three points behind in second place.

This year is the first time the women’s competition has had a group stage rather than going straight into the knockout competition, and Hayes is a fan of the new format.

“I love the group stage, it’s such a great idea, it’s really needed,” she said. “It’s helped my team, and it will help every team and develop a pool of quality teams across Europe so there’s no doubt it’s really helped.

“I love Champions League football, I like big games. I like to test myself and be in those situations where I’m having to improve.

“I like to get better, I want to keep working as a coach to see different ideas, find different solutions, keep challenging the group to finding their best level. (That’s) the thing I love the most about coaching.”

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