Hayes wary of City threat ahead of crunch WSL clash
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has praised Women’s Super League title rivals Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s trip to the Academy Stadium.
The table toppers could be leapfrogged by their hosts should they fall to a defeat in the 12.40pm kick-off.
With the division’s top scorer Khadija Shaw among their ranks, Gareth Taylor’s side are on a 13-match unbeaten run and Hayes is not underestimating her opponents.
She said: "It’s clear they’ll be a threat, particularly in wide areas.
"Khadija Shaw’s having an unbelievable season, with Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly, tremendous players, Yui Hasegawa.
"Their midfield as a whole has been excellent.
"They’re a team that had a really good run after their early-season losses and they’ve got world-class international players that are capable of hurting any team.
"Gareth Taylor is an outstanding coach and the way his team plays is indicative of that.
"I always think Manchester City teams have been one of the top teams in the country for many years.
"We respect them as a team and equally it’s about how we present ourselves to them on Sunday."
Three-time defending WSL champions Chelsea are fresh from a 1-0 victory at Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
And with an FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa to come next month, Hayes is confident she can maintain positive momentum on three fronts.
She said: "I can manage the team’s busy workload.
"I’ve got years of experience doing this, I’ve got an unbelievably brilliant team of staff who are around the players and a group that understand our culture and the way that we work.
"We like it busy. It’s something we’ve become accustomed to over the years.
"I think the team does really well when it doesn’t have too much of a turnaround time.
"Especially with a squad of our size, everybody gets to be involved and that helps.
"The one-game-at-a-time approach is how we always manage it and we’re just ready for the next one."