Hayes hails 'a victory for the team' as Blues do it again
Emma Hayes credited the togetherness of her players as the driving force behind Chelsea's fourth successive Women's Super League title following a 3-0 victory over Reading.
The Blues sealed the trophy courtesy of goals from Guro Reiten and a Sam Kerr double.
And Hayes admitted the fear of losing galvanised her side, who added to the FA Cup they won against Manchester United earlier this month.
She said: "The fear of losing drives me more than the will to win. This year we knew we had to grind and dig out results, sometimes when maybe we didn’t create as many chances.
"It's just unbelievable character from the players. This feels like a victory for the team because my staff have carried me in so many ways this season, especially when I was unwell.
"When senior players didn't play as much, other seniors picked them up.
"In the second part of the season we saw our newer players start to bear fruit and we found different ways to win. And you have to, it can't look the same all the time.
"When you're chasing, it almost felt like the pressure wasn't on us because we were never in the front position for long.
"We've had different experiences being in first and second and to be honest with you we like being in both of them."
Hayes labelled Reiten as one of the world's best players after the winger set up Kerr to make it 1-0 before getting on the scoresheet herself in the 42nd minute.
The Norwegian has been instrumental for the Blues this season having picked up 20 league goal contributions and filling the boots of Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder who have had injury-stricken campaigns.
Hayes added: "She's my player of the season. She's grown up, she's exceptional in this team.
"She has an eye for a pass that is second to none. She doesn't even need to see where Sam moves, she just gets half a yard and is always going to deliver it to her.
"Guro needs to be recognised as one of the best players in the world."