Emma Hayes giving a press conference

Hayes warns of complacency ahead of Real Madrid tie

Emma Hayes warned her players about complacency ahead of tonight’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid.

The Spanish side have picked up just one point from their first four games, meaning that their progression to the latter stages is a mathematical impossibility.

The Chelsea manager was adamant however, that her players would be giving the opposition the respect they deserve.

She said: “There’s nothing more dangerous than playing a team that has nothing to play for.

“It is Real Madrid. They have a quality squad with a lot of internationals, so we know what we have to do.”

Her views were echoed by midfielder Erin Cuthbert, who will captain the side in place of Sam Kerr, who is out for the remainder of the season with an ACL injury.

The Scottish international said: “I have been in dressing rooms where you technically don’t have anything to play for.

“That is where you are able to express yourself the most and play with freedom.”

The reverse fixture ended in a draw, with Chelsea left feeling aggrieved following a goal being incorrectly ruled out for offside and Madrid given a penalty for a foul committed outside the box.

Reflecting on the game, Hayes has called for strong officiating tonight as her side aim to obtain the win that will ensure their place in the quarter-finals.

Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns, although star striker Lauren James was given an extra day’s rest following her hat trick against Manchester United on Sunday.

Hayes refused to be drawn on reports from Spain claiming that the club had agreed a record fee for Colombia striker Mayra Ramirez, to replace the injured Kerr.

She said: “I’m not going to comment on players from other clubs. It would be disrespectful.”

The signing of Ramirez would be a statement of intent from the Blues, who are still in contention for the Women’s Super League, Champions League and FA Cup.

The 24-year-old Columbian was part of the impressive side that reached the World Cup quarter-finals before being defeated by England.

Chelsea take on Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge with kick off at 8pm.

Related Articles