Emma Hayes ‘sick to death’ of exit talk as Chelsea target another FA Cup final

By Sports Desk April 13, 2024 134

Emma Hayes has insisted Chelsea’s motivation to reach another Women’s FA Cup final is not driven by her imminent exit.

It was revealed last November that the Blues boss will end her trophy-laden 12 years club at the conclusion of this campaign to take over as United States manager.

Hayes has entered the home straight of her time at Chelsea and missed out on silverware two weeks ago when Arsenal beat them 1-0 in the Women’s League Cup final.

The highly decorated Hayes courted controversy afterwards when she appeared to shove Arsenal counterpart Jonas Eidevall, but ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester United, the 47-year-old played down the impact of her summer departure.

She told a press conference: “I’m absolutely committed to doing everything I possibly can to help the team achieve these goals and I’m looking forward to the games.

“The team want to win for themselves. They want to win for the football club. They want to win for the families. They want to win because they’re winners.

“They’re sick to death of what they need to do for me and that’s fair, it’s not about me.

“It’s about them and us as a collective making sure we maximise the situations we are in.

“There are three pieces of silverware up for grabs and I’m very grateful to be in the position to be competing for them.”

While Chelsea eye Women’s Super League, FA Cup and Champions League success this season, United’s focus is purely on the domestic cup after an inconsistent campaign.

Marc Skinner led United to last season’s final where they lost 1-0 to Chelsea at Wembley and he knows the size of the task at Leigh Sports Village.

“I think their success over the past seasons and beyond is something that everybody wants to replicate,” Skinner acknowledged.

“It’s a tough, tough ask. Everybody goes, ‘you’ve got to beat Chelsea’… well not many teams do.

“I think, from our perspective, we have to give everything in this game and I believe on our day and when we have our qualities and we work hard, we can beat anybody.

“If we do that, then I believe we’ll be in a position to progress into the final of the FA Cup.”

The winner of Sunday’s other semi-final between Tottenham and Leicester will reach a maiden FA Cup final.

 

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Spurs switched the fixture to their men’s 62,850-seater stadium and boss Robert Vilahamn is desperate to reach Wembley in his first season in charge.

Vilahamn said: “We started our meeting with the journey we are on and that it ends at Wembley hopefully, but then everything else goes back to normal.

“I think if we have a good performance we have a good chance to win and go to Wembley.

“I just hope we can bring so many fans to stadium and make sure we do this together.

“We play for them, we don’t play for ourselves. We want to make sure we have a lot of fans at the stadium and make them proud.

“If we’re going to reach the final, we need them because they give us that extra energy.”

Meanwhile, ninth-placed Leicester will be boosted by the return of goalkeeper Janina Leitzig, who has not played since February due to a shoulder injury.

The Foxes have endured a difficult season with Willie Kirk suspended in March and subsequently dismissed weeks later, which has resulted in Jennifer Foster stepping up on an interim basis.

Foster revealed: “Janina is back at 100 per cent.

“Lize (Kop) has been playing well but it’s good to have both senior goalkeepers back in contention again to push each other.”

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Last modified on Saturday, 13 April 2024 08:19
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