·15 December 2022
·15 December 2022
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes is convinced her side will guard against complacency as they look to seal their place in the knockout stage of the Uefa Women’s Champions League with victory over Vllaznia in Albania on Friday night.
Hayes’ side swept the Albanians aside 8-0 in October but she believes the underdogs will have learned from that chastening experience and present a tougher challenge for the Blues.
“I remember watching them at home against Real Madrid and they were really stubborn to break down, so I think this is a different game away from home,” said Hayes, whose side sit unbeaten on top of Group A with 10 points from a possible 12.
“It’s something we have prepared for, and we have to expect they will have learned from their European journey and for us to be the top professionals that we are, to make sure we’re ready for the things they’ve worked on.”
Hayes will reshuffle her starting line-up again having made a number of changes for the weekend Women’s Super League win over Reading, with the likes of Jessica Carter, Lauren James and Guro Reiten all set to return.
Hayes was critical of her side’s momentary lapse in the win over Reading, in which they almost let slip a three-goal lead and eventually held on to edge their opponents 3-2 and retain their lead at the top of the table.
But she believes Chelsea will have learned to avoid similar lapses as they head towards the last 16 in their penultimate group-stage game, with only Paris St Germain left to face at Stamford Bridge next Thursday.
“We were 3-0 up and in a really strong position, and it was five minutes of sustained pressure that as a team we didn’t manage particularly well,” added Hayes.
“But overall I think we played really well against Reading. As a team we always expect the best all of the time, and over the years we’ve had in this competition it’s been no different. We want to produce our best performances in every game we play.”
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