Emma Hayes’ defending champions have won one of their first five league games this term

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says showing her “maternal side” helped pick her players up after Sunday’s 5-0 loss at home to league rivals Arsenal.

The Blues bounced back with a 1-0 win over Italian side Fiorentina in the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday.

Asked how she picked her team up after Sunday, Hayes replied: “I’m a mother, so it’s really easy for me to do that.

“I just showed my maternal side and reminded them it’s really not that grim, that is the reality.”

Hayes, whose side won the Women’s Super League and FA Cup double last season, added: “Of course they’re disappointed, they’re competitors, they’re champions, we don’t like to lose like that.

“But we’re an experienced group and I have to credit the senior leaders this week. They’ve come together to take responsibility to help with some of the younger players.

“I honestly don’t stress about it in the way you perhaps might think I do.

“One, because I have got a baby’s bum to change when I go home, but also, you can’t get too high with the wins and you can’t get too low with the lows.

“I’m level-headed with the process. You can’t win all the time. We just have to keep pushing each other daily.”

The Blues are England’s last remaining women’s side in Europe this term, following Manchester City’s last-32 loss to Atletico Madrid.

Captain Karen Carney’s early penalty gave the Londoners a 1-0 first-leg win over Fiorentina, in a game they dominated.

“You have to give so much credit to the players to bounce back, showing magnificent attitude in their response,” Carney said.

“It’s obviously humiliating. When you’re rock bottom, the only way is up. You have to face things with humility.

“Sometimes a kick up the bum is the best thing. I’ve always learnt from losses more so than wins. We’ve stuck together in a bad moment.

“When you lose in such a manner, everyone looks at themselves. This group were unbelievable so credit to them.”

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