Emma Hayes believes it would be special for Chelsea’s men’s and women’s teams to enjoy success in their Champions League semi-finals since her club is “all about winning things, not just getting here”.
The women host Bayern Munich on Sunday and must overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit, while Chelsea’s men welcome Real Madrid to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday having earned a 1-1 draw in Spain. Were they both to progress and win their finals, Chelsea would become the first club to hold both titles.
“I had a lovely encounter with Thomas Tuchel, he’s a fantastic guy, a really open-minded and progressive coach,” said Hayes of her Chelsea men’s counterpart. “There’s a reason why the men’s team are performing like they are and to mirror that success, side by side, how fantastic that would be.
“We always talk about winning in this place, that’s what comes with the territory. We don’t mind the pressure, the expectations, the tags, whatever comes with it, we just know we’re a club that wants to be in winning positions.”
Should Chelsea Women come from behind at Kingsmeadow and secure passage to the final, Hayes will provide another landmark moment by being the first woman in 12 years to coach in the final. She is also the only female coach in the semi-finals.
“The women’s football world has taken a while to wake up to female coaches and thankfully there’s many more of them across our league in particular,” she said. “We have to make sure we’re ready for these jobs and positions, but if you see the number that are being hired across the game now it’s certainly more reflective of society and it will become more normal that a female coach may be part of a final. Hopefully that’s something I can fulfil at the weekend but hopefully it becomes the norm.
“I’ve learned they’ve got good attacking players, I also learned that they’ve got a defensive system that stifled us and that for them they’ve got the advantage. It’s half-time, so now I get to coach, now I get to see which of our players respond to what is necessary and produce the performance that the team needs.
“That’s the big thing, teams get through in these situations. Yes, we’ve got quality throughout our ranks but no one player is responsible whether we win or lose.”
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