Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is going into this afternoon’s FA Women’s Continental League Cup final against Bristol City at Vicarage Road with extreme caution.
The Blues are the red hot favourites to retain the trophy as they come up against a Bristol City side battling for Barclays FA Women’s Super League survival.
Despite The Robins being second-bottom of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, their recent performances have been arguably much better than their league position suggests with Matt Beard’s side having taken seven points from their last four league matches. Looking ahead to this afternoon’s FA Women’s Continental League Cup final, Chelsea boss Hayes is weary of Bristol City’s threat.
“I think they’ve been brilliant, they really have,” said Hayes when speaking about Bristol City in Chelsea’s pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present. “They’ve been brilliant on the counter, you can see that they are finding another level of their attacking play.
“They are fighting to stay in the league and I think that their effort in that last game was absolutely superb.
“You see with Salmon the quality that she has got on the counter and they seem to have found something that works for them.
“It’s a final and I am approaching it exactly the same way that I approach every game regardless of the opponent because as you know in football, there is no such thing as a comfortable game.”
Hayes went on to recite famous cup giant-killers from years gone by as she explained that a cup final is a stage for the underdog and that there will be no pressure on Bristol City to win the tie given the fact that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
The Blues boss added “I can probably recite millions of games from history, Wimbledon back in the day, Wigan were an underdog when they won the cup, that’s what cups are about, one-off events where it’s an even stage.
“Yes, we have more experience of being in the position than them but think about this, they have all of the freedom knowing that they don’t have that pressure and expectation, they can just go out and play and enjoy themselves.
“Off the back of their game last week, there is no doubt that they can come out and play with the mentality that Matt (Beard) has instilled in them.
“I always think that those are the teams that you have to watch the most.”
The 2020/2021 FA Women’s Continental League Cup final is scheduled to kick-off at 2.30pm this afternoon and will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2.