Emma Hayes insisted “there is nothing to talk about” regarding her future at Chelsea after leading her side to the Women’s Super League and FA Cup double with a 3-2 victory over Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.
Sam Kerr struck an extra-time winner as Chelsea clinched their second trophy in a week after being pushed all the way by a City side that twice fought back from a goal down.
It was the 11th major trophy Hayes has won since taking charge of Chelsea in 2012, but the 45-year-old was quick to dismiss any suggestions it may mark the end of an era for her at the Blues.
“Everyone knows I’ve got a contract at Chelsea so what’s the speculation about? Is there a job you guys are telling me I’m going for that I don’t know about?” Hayes said.
“As far as I’m concerned I don’t have to kill any speculation, I’m under contract at Chelsea and there’s nothing to talk about.”
In a match played in front of a new record attendance for a Women’s FA Cup final of 49,094 – although organisers had sold over 55,000 tickets – Chelsea twice took the lead through Kerr and Erin Cuthbert in regulation time.
However, City hit back both times through Lauren Hemp and then Hayley Raso, whose 89th-minute equaliser forced the game into extra time, and it was Kerr’s deflected 99th-minute effort that eventually settled the outcome.
Hayes paid tribute to the “amazing” Australia striker, whose match-winning brace capped off a season where Kerr won the Golden Boot as the WSL’s leading scorer as well as being named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year.
“She’s ridiculous,” Hayes said.
“I saw her mum and dad in the crowd and her brother, they said it was so tight and so tense.
“Sam’s probably not that happy with those types of finishes.
“There was a moment in the game I thought she was knackered, but she just digs and digs and digs and she’s got the lot. She’s got character, she’s got charisma, charm, courage in her play, we’ve got an amazing centre-forward.”
Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor, whose side finished third in the WSL this season, admitted it could be a big summer for the club in the transfer window – even though he would prefer it if changes were kept to a minimum for the sake of continuity.
“Every summer is huge, there’s always going to be player turnover, incomings and outgoings,” Taylor said.
“I’ve always said, if we can limit some of that, we’d be in a much better place.
“We normally see teams that function and operate at a decent level are ones that have less turnover in the summer.
“At the end of the day the game is the game and players have their ambitions or lifestyle which may come into it and for us we are very much at the front of trying to secure these players, but players come and players go.
“We want players who want to be here, I think that’s the main thing and I think those players (in the FA Cup final), regardless of what happens going forward from this, showed real character and a real personality.”