Emma Hayes says ‘the whole squad is playing well’ as Chelsea prepare to face Everton

Chelsea are back in Barclays Women’s Super League action this weekend after what has been a jam-packed schedule for the Blues in recent weeks, due to their closing dominance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League group stages. Chelsea’s most recent clash saw the Blues assert domination over Paris FC, with a performance that showcased an almost entirely rotated starting lineup.

Emma Hayes finds herself in a position where the squad’s depth continues its competitive growth in exponential fashion. Hayes spoke on how she manages the quality of depth, and praises the player’s ability to use the competitive list as a driving motivation.

‘Everyone is an international player here, at least the vast majority are senior internationals. So of course they want to play every week, but our training is ultra competitive and if everybody performs there they have a better chance to get into the lineup.’

‘I’ve said it many times, I’m really generous with playing time. I trust players, but at the same time you have to have some consistency with some lineups. But, it just shows the quality of the players midweek, that we were able to make the changes that we did and it was seamless.’

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As the Blues return to WSL action, they will be searching to further cement themselves at the league table’s summit. Recent weeks have seen Hayes’s side in firing form, having scored nine goals in the past three games. The Chelsea boss reflected on her side’s stellar form, putting it down to a unified confidence weaving itself through the squad’s entirety.

‘I don’t know the answer to it, I just know that when you’re drilling ideas and patterns, sometimes it takes a bit of time for that to pay off in a bigger way. There is a lot of confidence in the performances, I can see that. We do look like everybody is really clear on their roles and expectations, and they’re delivering. The whole squad is playing well and getting minutes, and for me that’s half the battle.’

Chelsea’s upcoming opponents in Everton currently occupy ninth position on the league table, returning off the back of a disappointing defeat to Leicester City last Sunday. Brian Sørensen has faced grave challenges throughout this league campaign, having fallen to a mounting pile of injury woes.

Speaking on how she views the unpredictability of the Toffees, Hayes assured that her side will be prepared for whatever Sørensen’s side put forward come Sunday’s fixture. ‘Just wait, see, analyse. Then I make decisions from there and all of the players will be prepared for it.’

Hayes added that ‘they’re one of the best buildup teams in the league, they keep the ball really well in the spaces. For us, just focus back on league attention, that’s important.’

‘I think they’ve been pretty consistent in the way that they’ve played, regardless of personnel. If they play like we have prepared for, then yes it will be easier. What we have created is situations to say, this is how they’ve set out, this is what we will do if they do that. However if they change, then we’ll do this. So we’ve prepared the team to be able to cope because ultimately you don’t really know until kick-off.’

Emma Hayes’s Chelsea side are back in Barclays Women’s Super League action this weekend, as they host Everton at Kingsmeadow on Sunday evening.