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Hayes targets a winning end to 2022 for Chelsea and hails ‘explosive’ legacy of Women’s Euros

EMMA HAYES believes the success of this year’s Euros was an explosive moment for women’s football.

And the Chelsea chief, 46, expects her players to maintain their winning mindset in their Champions League tussle with Paris Saint-Germain.

Emma Hayes says Chelsea will be targeting a win against Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge
Lauren James, Maren Mjelde and their team-mates have won four and drawn one of their last five Champions League group stage games

The WSL leaders go head-to-head with their rivals at Stamford Bridge at 8:00 pm on Thursday night.

The Blues are looking to clinch a double group stage win against the French giants in their final match this year.

At this point last year the Kingsmeadow side exited the Champions League following a 4-0 loss to Wolfsburg.

A win against PSG would see Hayes’ aces seal a six-game unbeaten run at this phase of the tournament with their quarter-final spot already booked. 

The Blues chief said: “Last year was such a learning curve for the team. 

“When you’re going into a game thinking ‘as long as you don’t lose by a certain number’, that’s a catastrophic head space and one I won’t entertain.

“We play to win every game. If the team aspires for the biggest things it has to train with that application.

“With that in mind, I expect my team to have the right approach and I will be disappointed if it is otherwise.”

Chelsea’s duel with PSG comes just over four months on from the Lionesses’ history-making triumph at the Euros with the team becoming the first England Women’s side to win the contest. 

Their success saw the squad named as the Team of the Year at the BBC’s 2022 Sports Personality of the Year awards. 

Emma Hayes reckons the success of the Euros and the Lionesses’ triumph has helped to elevate women’s game

And Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman and Beth Mead won Coach and Player of the Year gongs at the ceremony.

The European Championship, hosted on English soil for the first time since 2005, was a record-breaking one for women’s football  

The final at Wembley attracted a crowd of 87,192, the largest to ever attend a Euros final in the women’s or men’s games. 

And a total of 365 million viewers watched the tournament worldwide, double the number of those who tuned in for the 2017 contest. 

This year’s Euros were watched by 365 million viewers worldwide with its Wembley final attended by a record-breaking crowd of 87,192

On whether she believes attitudes towards women’s football have changed since England’s triumph, Hayes added: “It took an explosive moment like the Euros to almost, like, inject steroids into the sport and fast forward our journey.”

“I think the foundations underpinning it are able to cope with those challenges.”

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