Emma Hayes suffering with an illness ahead of Chelseas top of the table clash

Emma Hayes suffering with an illness ahead of Chelsea’s top-of-the-table clash

They are taking on Manchester United on Sunday

Chelsea could be missing Emma Hayes from the dugout for Sunday’s crunch Women’s Super League clash against Manchester United after the Blues boss sat out the pre-match press conference due to illness.

In the absence of Hayes, it was her assistant, Blues general manager Paul Green, fielding questions from the media on Friday.

And he said: “We are hoping Emma is going to be back tomorrow, it is just a viral illness so hopefully she can shrug it off.

“She wasn’t feeling the best during the second half of the Brighton game and still felt a little bit under the weather yesterday. So hopefully she’ll have recovered today and be back in for training tomorrow.

“We’ll have to wait and see, hopefully she’ll be good to go. If she isn’t, Denise (Reddy, his fellow assistant) and I will take the team as we did earlier in the season. Emma has still got access to the training footage and there’ll be regular communication if she wasn’t to make it on Sunday, as we had earlier in the season.

“She’ll have a direct earpiece to Denise on the sideline but we’re hoping she’ll be back if not tomorrow then certainly on Sunday.”

Green and Reddy oversaw the first team for six matches – all victories – after Hayes underwent an emergency hysterectomy in October.

Sunday’s contest at Kingsmeadow sees the league’s top two go head to head, with United currently a point clear of champions Chelsea having played a game more.

Giving an update on the condition of players, Green said: “We’re still going to be without Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Katerina Svitkova, same as the previous game.

“Fran has had a second injection into her knee and we’ve just got to wait and see how that settles down over the next couple of weeks. So we’ve got no timeframe on her.

“Katerina is continuing her rehab from the surgery on her knee. That’s going to be months rather than weeks.

“Pernille (who has been recovering from a hamstring injury) has started to go out on the grass to do some pitch rehab, so she’s doing well, but it’s going to be probably at least a few weeks or a month before she can join in with the rest of the team, so she’s still some way away from being in a squad.

“But she’s making some good progress and certainly it’s good to see her back out there on the grass.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub