Emma Hayes says her anxiety is reserved for getting son Harry to school on time rather than trying to deliver a third consecutive Women’s Super League title for Chelsea on the last day of the season.
Leaders Chelsea head into their final game at home to Champions League-chasing Manchester United on Sunday with a one-point advantage over Arsenal.
The Gunners finish their season at West Ham knowing victory over their London rivals may not be enough to stop Chelsea claiming a fifth WSL title.
— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) May 4, 2022
Asked if she suffers from nerves ahead of big games, Hayes said at her pre-match press conference: “Do you know I get really nervous when Harry won’t get out of the door in time to get to school. That’s when I get anxious.
“I get nervous around my child going too fast on his bike towards the end of the road. Terrified. That’s nerves.
“This is pleasure, joy, release. Being in a dressing room of people who are amazing.
“This season hasn’t been plain sailing, it was always going to go to the last day and we’re ready.”
'This was always going to go to the last day, so we're ready.' – Emma Hayes 👊
— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) May 6, 2022
Hayes is on the brink of winning a 10th major trophy as Chelsea manager and downplayed the pressure at a club used to success.
She said: “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.
“Look at the inflation, the rising costs for people to pay their bills. Football is far from pressure. I enjoy the situation, but more importantly I enjoy representing a club I absolutely adore.
“To be in a position where we can continue to win on behalf of Chelsea is something I think I was born for.”
Chelsea have the double in their sights with the FA Cup final against Manchester City to come on May 15.
Arsenal’s final-day preparations were boosted by boss Jonas Eidevall extending his stay on Friday.
The Swede, who was appointed last summer, has signed a two-year contract and insists Arsenal’s focus has to be on themselves and not events at Kingsmeadow.
Eidevall said: “Our focus is to perform very well against West Ham, that’s all we can control.
💬 "I'm working for the club that I love."
Congratulations on your new contract, @Eidevall! 👏
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) May 6, 2022
“We know there are some scenarios that could be an interest to us, and we’ll make sure that information gets to us on the bench.
“Man United have been a top team this season and I hope they can prove that one final time.”
United are two points behind neighbours City in the race for the final Champions League spot.
City have a far superior goal difference and a draw at Reading will almost certainly secure third place even if United were to upset Chelsea.
“We can’t be in a position to look to the cup final,” head coach Gareth Taylor said with City seeking to clinch Champions League football for a seventh successive season.
“We are not secure on Champions League. We have worked hard to get to that position. We will focus on that job and then the job on (next) Sunday.”
The odds may be against United making the top-three, but head coach Marc Skinner aims to end the season on a high.
Skinner said: “If we want to be a top, top team, we have got to not worry about Chelsea. We are going to try and win that game.
▪️ Facing Chelsea 👊▪️ Maintaining our spirit 🧬▪️ Planning for 2022/23 🧠
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) May 6, 2022
“I think we have progressed. But now we need to make the psychological jumps to be in those (competitive) zones all the time.
“We’d be disappointed (to miss out on the Champions League) because we have high standards, but all we can do is focus on trying to beat a wonderful team in Chelsea.”
Elsewhere, Tottenham hope to secure fifth place at home to Leicester and Brighton host Everton.
Relegated Birmingham’s 11-year stay in the WSL comes to an end with a derby trip to Aston Villa.