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James keen to ensure Hayes leaves Chelsea on a high
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Rebecca Johnson
Press Association
Emma Hayes and Lauren James have forged a strong bond at Chelsea
Emma Hayes and Lauren James have forged a strong bond at Chelsea

Lauren James hopes Chelsea can "achieve good things" in outgoing manager Emma Hayes' final season in charge. 

Hayes, 47, announced her decision to step down in November and will become the head coach of the United States Women's national team at the end of the campaign.

Her departure marks the end of a 12-year reign during which she has won six Women's Super League titles, five FA Cups and two League Cups. 

James, who has played under Hayes since joining the Blues from Manchester United in 2021, said: "It's good working with Emma, our relationship is close — as everyone can probably imagine. 

"I think highly of her and hopefully we can achieve good things this year together. 

"In the moment, I was disappointed and it hits you, but that's the relationship we have. It's football and people move on, I'll just have to focus on Chelsea."

James, 22, bagged five goals in two games last month to help Chelsea cement their spot at the top of the WSL, where they sit three points clear of second-placed Manchester City ahead of Friday night's showdown. 

The England star scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 win against United before bagging a brace in the 3-0 victory against Brighton to scoop January's Player of the Month award. 

James, who has netted 12 goals in 12 WSL outings this term, added: "It was a special feeling to receive [the award]. 

"I got five goals in two games, so it wasn't that bad of a month! Hopefully I can just continue that form throughout the season."

As well as striving for a fifth successive league title, Chelsea remain in the hunt for glory in the Conti Cup, FA Cup and Champions League. 

And James would love nothing better than to see the Blues conquer Europe. She said: "I think it would be amazing, it's something everyone wants and dreams of.

"It's something this club have been working towards for a while now. Hopefully in Emma's final year we can get that far."


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