Chelsea boss knew she would lose both games but is convinced it was the right decision to play
Emma Hayes remains convinced that it was the right decision to bring her squad of players to the searing heat of Southern France and play against top quality European opposition – and that despite knowing they would suffer defeats.
The top managers make tough uncompromising choices, and while the Blues were rightly hammered 5-2 to Montpellier on Tuesday and 5-0 by Bayern Munich on Thursday evening, it's all a process that hopefully end up with a tougher and fitter group of players ahead of the start of the WSL1 season in early September.
Hayes said: “You can sit here in hindsight and say 'was this the wrong tournament to take, at the wrong time?
“No. The French season starts soon the German one starts next week. Our focus is is about getting to September 8.
“Do we stay at home and play games that we will win, and learn very little or come here and get beaten, knowing we would as we are nowhere near physically to the other teams.
“We all knew that we would lose those two games. But we were not here to get the results, we were here to get get fitter. We are a club is used to winning games, but when we won the double, we got beaten by Bayern Munich 4-0 in the pre-season and Wolfsburg 5-0 in the exact same season. We often lose our pre-season games.”
In terms of sorting out a formation for the upcoming season Hayes rightly points out key players were missing through injury.
She said: “We have Hannah (Blundell), Erin (Cuthbert) and Jonna (Andersson) out, so for us, we have to give players opportunities, and pre-season is about experimenting, giving players minutes on the pitch, It's seeing where we need to improve - but we need to get fitter first.
“Hannah Blundell could have played but we made the decision not to because the opposition fitness levels were so high. If this was a game played at home against a domestic opponent, I would have played her but why take a risk. Jonna the same, Erin is at home, I'm not taking risks.”
Hayes always has a post-match chat to her management and coaching team – she said to them: “' follow the process, follow the steps, don't get stuck on the result.
“We are making all the steps we need to off the pitch. We will be making training incredibly hard next week when we play West Ham, that will take us another step closer (to where we want to be). We just need to stay focused in the present – it's just a result.”
The goalkeeping conundrum of which of Ann-Katrin Berger or Carly Telford will be number one next season following Hedvig Lindal leaving in the summer, is something Hayes is going to have to decide upon - just not now.
“I don't know who is going to start against Spurs on September 8 – lucky me,” she said.
“I have two unbelievable goalkeepers – our squad is a bit smaller (than last season) so between them it will be a real battle.”
With Hayes revealing that she thinks she has a small squad in therms of numbers, she did say of any ins or outs: “Nothing at the moment, no”
Pressed if that meant there was a possibility of changes later in the transfer window, she reiterated: “Nothing at the moment, I don't anticipate any movement.”