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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has challenged her players to prove they are good enough to wear the shirt ahead of this weekend's Continental Cup clash with London Bees.
On paper, the Blues should have little trouble dispatching FA WSL 2 side London Bees at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines on Sunday but it is the bigger picture which dominates Hayes' thoughts.
On the face of it the season is proving a successful one, second in the FA WSL, an FA Women's Cup semi final already reached and safe in the knowledge that a big win over the Bees will seal a second semi final of the season. But Hayes remains concerned with her side's three defeats this season coming at the hands of Arsenal twice, and FA WSL leaders Birmingham City, leaving her frustrated at her team's failings in the big games.
"We know we should beat London Bees although it will be tough and we will need to earn the win," said Hayes, whose side are top of Group One in the Continental Cup.
"But having lost last time out at Arsenal this is a chance for my players to show they deserve to be in the starting XI, not just this weekend but in the big games to come against Arsenal once again and Manchester City when we return to the FA WSL.
"Of course we are expected to win but I will be watching closely as I expect a reaction from my players following the 3-0 loss at Arsenal last time out.
"We play Arsenal twice more before the end of the season, having lost in both cup games we've played, and my players need to show me they can find a way to win these big games as until now we haven't shown we can.
"We have underperformed in big games and the players need to remember they are only playing against another shirt - the name of the team is irrelevant. We have shown too much respect and it needs to change.
"I have challenged the group to prove themselves and expect a positive reaction against London Bees."
Chelsea Ladies v London Bees kicks off at 2pm at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines, tickets are available on the door priced £3 for Children and £5 for Adults or via www.chelseafc.com.
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