Chelsea Coach On Pressure To Win: ‘Pressure Was Putting Money On The Table To Pay The Bills As A Child. This Is Not Pressure’
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MANCHESTER, England — Chelsea Women head coach Emma Hayes has dismissed claims that her side are under pressure as they look to claim a third successive Women’s Super League title this weekend.
The blues are currently in the driving seat, topping the table on 53 points going into the final day of action. Victory at home against Manchester United on Sunday would ensure their status as champions regardless of results elsewhere.
"I'm from a council estate. Trust me, pressure was putting money on the table to pay the bills as a child. This is not pressure," Hayes told a news conference on Friday.
"Look at the cost of inflation, look at the rising costs for people paying the bills. This is far from pressure; this is a joy. I love my job.
"I enjoy the situation, but more importantly enjoy representing a club that I absolutely adore. And to be in a position where we can continue to win on behalf of Chelsea is something I think I was born for."
Chelsea, who have won their last nine matches in the WSL, beat United 6-1 away earlier in the season and will be favourites to win the fixture.
Arsenal are their fellow title challengers, sitting one point behind and playing away at West Ham on Sunday. Should Chelsea fail to triumph in their game, the Gunners could pick up their first title since the 2018/19 season.
All the matches kick off at midday (1100 GMT).
United will likely be a tougher challenge for Chelsea than they were earlier in the season. The Blues needed a second-half penalty to beat bottom-placed Birmingham City last weekend, and fourth-placed United are likely to put up a much bigger fight.
The Manchester club are in their own battle at the top end of the table, sitting two points behind neighbours City in the race for the third European qualification spot. Claiming that spot may depend on Reading securing an unlikely win over City, but it is a possibility which will spur United on in their own match.
The WSL’s top three clubs all qualify for the Women’s Champions League and United have never played in Europe before.
Birmingham were relegated to the FA Women's Championship on Wednesday after a 6-0 loss away to Man City, sitting five points adrift after that result, with just eight points from their 21 games so far.
(Reporting by Adam Millington; Editing by Hugh Lawson)