Chelsea boss Emma Hayes insists she has no time to monitor the Women’s Super League table, despite a scenario that could see her side seal a fourth straight title on Sunday.
The second-placed Blues, fresh from lifting their third consecutive FA Cup, are one point behind Manchester United, but have a game in hand on the league leaders, who have just two remaining in their campaign.
That means victory against West Ham on Tuesday and Arsenal on Sunday would be enough for Chelsea should United fail to beat Manchester City on the penultimate day of the season.
Hayes was adamant she is unaware of how invested her players might be in potential permutations, saying: “I promise you I’ve got so much to do I’m not privy to some of their ridiculous conversations, thank goodness.
“They don’t want me being part of them anyway. We’re all football fans too, but I know the dressing room and, as far as we’re concerned, we’re in control of what we want to do and that’s I think all we focus on.
“I didn’t even realise we could go top if we won tomorrow until someone told me yesterday, so you’re asking the wrong person here about all of those things. I don’t pay attention to them because your head gets away with you, so I’ve learned now I never look at them.”
West Ham are still in search of a first league win in 2023.
Hard at work ♀ pic.twitter.com/pn2R4i2Niv
— West Ham United Women (@westhamwomen) May 15, 2023
Manager Paul Konchesky said: “It’s a tough time, for me, it’s a tough time for them and as a whole group at the club. We know we’re going through a tough time, but there are games where we have been really close to winning and we haven’t won. It even looks worse when we haven’t picked up points.
“We haven’t been out of any game, we’ve been in most games we’ve played and it just hasn’t turned the corner for us.”
Arsenal are fighting to retain their place in the Champions League for another season after selling out the Emirates Stadium for their semi-final against Wolfsburg earlier this month.
With three European spots available, Jonas Eidevall will hope to put some distance between his third-placed side and Manchester City below them when the Gunners travel to Everton.
Arsenal are level on 44 points with City but have played one game fewer and also have a better goal difference.
Eidevall anticipates Tuesday’s opponents will be ready to bounce back from their thumping 7-0 defeat to defending champions Chelsea last time out.
He said: “I always expect our opponents to be fully motivated. I expect us to be fully motivated as well, so my expectations are never different from that. I don’t want to draw too much conclusion on that result last week.
“There were performances in that game that were good from Everton, and there were performances that were not so good, like in any football game you play, so we just need to prepare our way playing the game.”
Everton manager Brian Sorensen assuaged fears that City loanee and England international Jess Park could be ruled out of World Cup consideration with the same shoulder injury that has forced her to miss the remainder of the domestic campaign.
He said: “No, it’s a six-week injury and it was three weeks ago now. She should be ready to go on the pitch when we play the last game against City, I think that’s the time schedule. That’s the latest I’ve heard. She’s back at City, she’s in their hands. But last I spoke to her, it shouldn’t affect (it), so let’s cross our fingers for that.”
The sixth-placed Toffees are assured of another top-flight season but, with 27 points, are well out of European contention.
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