Chelsea forward Fran Kirby says that the squad need to go into their UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final first leg tie against Bayern Munich with a fresh mentality and not focusing on past results as they look to secure their place in the final.
The Blues will take on the Germans away from home in the first leg tomorrow afternoon before welcoming them to Kingsmeadow next Sunday for the second leg.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were in attendance, Kirby said “I try not to think about previous games because you can get wrapped up in it but obviously we have been close before and we know how much it hurts when you don’t make it to the final.
“I think we need to go into the next two games with a strong mentality, not focus on the fact that we have lost previous semi-finals but go into it with a calm attitude and a strong mindset.
“I think we need to treat this weekend’s game like any other, every game is just as important as the next and we know how important it is. In the position we are in, we can’t afford to lose games in either the league or Champions League.
“We just need to focus on the task in hand, focusing on the analysis and each team as they come. It is a game where we have to gee ourselves up but also control our emotions and make sure we stay level-grounded.”
Chelsea have reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League on two previous occasions but have never reached the final of the competition. Kirby went on to comment on what it would mean to her should the club beat Bayern over the two legs.
She added “Getting into a Champions League final, it would be something for this football club that they have been working towards for a very long time now.
“For me, it would be really special to get there with this club where I started my Champions League journey. To do it with an English club would be so special, a team you’ve grown up and matured in.
“It is what every footballer dreams of so I will be looking to give my all in the semi-finals, as will the rest of the girls I’m sure.”
The club are still in with a brilliant opportunity to record the quadruple. The Blues are closing in on the Barclays FA Women’s Super League title, have won the FA Women’s Continental League Cup and are in the fifth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. Kirby showed nothing but praise for manager Emma Hayes who has built a very good relationship with the England international.
She went to add “Emma (Hayes) is great. She takes us into the greater depths and details of analysis and in terms of how we play. We never want to change the way what we’re doing things but we also respect the team.
“She gets it down to a tee and it helps us so much on the pitch because everyone knows their jobs and roles. It’s one of the things that makes her a brilliant coach and really special.
“I have enjoyed working with her and our working relationship has grown over the last few years which is something really nice to have with a manager.”
Chelsea’s UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final first leg fixture against Bayern Munich is scheduled to kick-off at 4pm on Sunday afternoon and will be screened live on BT Sport 2.