Emma Hayes Manchester City Women v Chelsea Women - SSE Women's FA Cup Semi Final football match, Academy Stadium, Manchester, UK - 14 Apr 2019 Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

Hayes full of praise for Chelsea as they move five points clear

Emma Hayes had nothing but praise for her Chelsea side, following their 5-0 win over Bristol City which moved them five points clear at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table.

Goals from Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr, Beth England and a brace from Fran Kirby, ensured that Chelsea took all three points with them back to South West London.

When commenting on her team’s performance in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Hayes said “I thought the first half performance was outstanding, in terms of the way we moved the ball.

“The pitch was wet, it was difficult. I thought our one and two-touch play was as good as I’ve seen it. I’m happy with the performance and I’m happy with the result.

“We’ve been working hard defending, they’ll probably tell you that. I want to make sure we understand our organisation, out of possession and work on the little details that will improve us.

“We’ve put together a team of players that we know will work, I think we’re finally starting to find our stride and the players are getting more comfortable to play with each other” Hayes added.

As well as praising the whole team on their performance, Hayes discussed the impact that the game had on a couple of her attacking players. England got onto the scoresheet for the first time in four league games, and Hayes had nothing but praise for the striker, who also chipped in with two assists.

“Beth is getting back to her best levels,” said Hayes. “It has taken a while this season but this is what I expect from Beth and I’m really pleased with the work that she has been doing in training.

“She’s taken on board all of the feedback about what she has to do to get to the next step, and I want to say I am proud of her today.

“This is the Beth England we all know, and going into the last stage of the season with so much competition for places, everyone is at a good level.”

Another player highly-praised for her performance was Kirby, as she claimed another two goals to increase her tally to 11 for the season.

Commenting on the forward’s performance, Hayes said “Fran is so clever, she can play in about five positions in this team and that is a special gift, not many can do that.

“She says the same to me every week – ‘I’ll do whatever you want me to do’ and ‘I do whatever is necessary for the team’ and that is ultimately what Fran wants to be remembered for. She wants to be remembered for being someone who will do anything for the team.

“Fran was disappointed to come off the pitch today, she was on a hat-trick.”

Chelsea return to Barclays FA Women’s Super League action following the international break when they travel to West Ham United on Sunday 7 March.

Article author: Brad Saxton

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