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  • By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow Stadium

Hayes: I highly value our fans. I told the players ‘if you score a goal, this place will lift’

The 12th player - the Chelsea fans Photo by Paul Lagan

Emma Hayes was quick to point out how important the Chelsea fans were to her side’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday.

It’s a bit of a cliche to cite the fans as the 12th player for any club, but Hayes is certain that that is the case at Kingsmeadow and when playing away.

In the post-match press conference when asked about the influence of the fans, Hayes delved into her handbag and produced her mobile phone and a bar of chocolate.

Having tucked away the giant bar of Galaxy chocolate, presumably to munch on the way home, Hayes said: “After every game the fans give me a bar of Galaxy chocolate. But this is what I’m going to play to you. Karen, our welfare person said she was really nervous before the game.

“She said ‘I don’t know how you do this job? I said ‘why, it’s not difficult. We are very lucky.’”

Hayes then played a video to the assembled hacks she made with Karen of the duo singing the songs, the fans created for the players - one was for Ramona Bachmann the other for Guro Reiten.

The fans had created a song sheet which they handed out to fans as they entered the ground.

It gave the majority of the 4,149 in attendance something to sing and it worked.

“So that is how much I value our fans,” she said.

“One of the things I did say to the players at half-time, was ‘I promise you, you score a goal and watch this place lift.’”

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