Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has been award Barclays WSL November Manager of the Month, sharing the accolade with Blues assistant coach Denise Reddy.
Hayes returned to the dugout in the second half of November following an emergency hysterectomy a few weeks earlier and oversaw a fairly routine victory over London rivals Tottenham in front of 38,000 fans at a sold out Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea won 3-0, scoring all three goals in a clinical opening 36 minutes, while keeping out a Spurs side that had only recently put eight past Brighton.
“It just felt like I was going back out to my family and I felt like a spectator for the most part, I just gave little bits of information as and when necessary, I really enjoyed it. I felt like I hadn't been away,” Hayes reflected after that one.
“I feel like a bit of a mother hen, coming back. Everyone is still operating and doing what they were doing while I'm away.”
With Hayes recovering at home, Chelsea had been in action against Manchester United earlier in November. During her absence, Reddy and general manager Paul Green had been responsible for managing the team and the victory over United on the road was a big one.
At that time, the Red Devils had won all of the WSL games they had played this season and were yet to even concede a goal. But Chelsea went to Leigh Sports Village, strangled the host’s attacking output for the tightly matched first hour and then scored three times.
Those November results made it seven consecutive WSL wins for Chelsea since a shock opening weekend defeat to Liverpool, which they have now made eight since the start of December.
As for November’s Barclays WSL Player of the Month, it is a second prize this season for Aston Villa forward Rachel Daly, who scored four times across only two appearances.
Villa won both games they played and Daly scored all of their goals, netting once in a 1-0 victory against Liverpool and then a hat-trick in a game against Reading the team won 3-1. As of now, the former Houston Dash star, who often plays as a full-back for England, has scored 75% of all her club’s WSL goals this season, highlighting just how important she has been.
Daly was recently named Aston Villa’s own Player of the Month for November and previously also won the Barclays WSL accolade in September.