Hayes on Chelsea's 3-0 FA Cup win over Arsenal: They carried out the game-plan I set out for the
Emma Hayes has had some great weeks as Chelsea's manager, but there is always something sweet about beating Arsenal and nab the bragging rights as the best team in London.
Her charges put in a high quality, technically adept performance to see off the WSL1 title challenger 3-0 on Sunday to put the Blues into the quarter-final of the FA Cup.
An early goal by Beth England and two screamers - one from Jonna Andersson and England finished off the north Londoners and means holders Chelsea can look forward to Monday night's draw with renewed confidence.
Hayes said: “We wanted it, for starters, that helps.
“Tactically we got it right. We had to make adjustments in the first 15 minutes of the game.
“We caused them a lot of problems, the result was justified, the performance was excellent from start to finish.”
Hayes has being bemoaning in recent weeks the lack of not scoring the early goal and then conceding a goal – at Kingsmeadow, both were negotiated successfully.
“Look how tired I am,” she said. “That’s how hard we have worked this week to get that goal. We are a top team, that didn’t start the season well, and we’ve always been playing catch-up. We’ve got a full steam in front of us. I think we have a complement of players to pick from, our fitness was fantastic. You can tell how much that trophy (FA Cup) means to us."
Hayes was reticent to go into detail regarding the tactics employed. Suffice to say she was happy they worked: “They wanted to get into spaces, (make) deeper runs, and draw us out of areas, where I didn’t want to be drawn out from'” she said. “So I made adjustments. I’m not telling you my tactics, and I thought as a result of that, we frustrated them, and left them with players in possession of the ball that didn’t want to have the ball.
“We showed the team video clips how we could exploit Arsenal. I said to my team, 'my job is to give you a game-plan, your job is to carry out that game plan. If they carry out that game-plan and we lose, then it’s my responsibility. If you don’t carry it out, it’s your responsibility.
“They carried out the game plan I set out for them perfectly.
“They are such a great group of people to work with. Erin (Cuthbert) epitomises the spirit that is in the group. They want to do well for the shirt, they put their best effort in every time they play for the club, they care, and they have the values we’ve worked hard to instilled in them since I’ve been here. They are all dreams to coach.”
Hayes ensures everyone gets equal billing in terms of praise when things goes right but also everyone shares in responsibility if things fail to go to plan. Even the fans get a mention.
“It’s just the players' graft, the determination, the hard work - the never give up attitude,” said Hayes.
“And that’s why you hear the fans singing for their team, because they know the team gives them absolutely everything and it must be a great team to support."
Bethany England scored twice against Arsenal, and the Barnsley-born 24 year old is knocking on the door for full international recognition.
She has 12 U-23 caps to her name already and Hayes thinks she's ready to go one further.
“I’ve said it before in World Cup year, it’s important that England know their group,” said Hayes.
“And it’s often difficult for a player to break into that when they have been building in the campaign. So I understand, if she doesn’t get called up for that reason. Do I think Beth will prosper and make full England level, yes, it’s a matter of time. I think she is getting closer and closer. You really have to push to get to that level. So wonderful credit to her because she’s really deserving to be where she is now.”