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Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said her players sometimes “get taken for granted” after their success in recent years.

The Blues return to Women’s Super League action on Wednesday against Aston Villa after back-to-back cup defeats in their past two games.

Arsenal beat them in the League Cup final on 31 March before Sunday’s FA Cup defeat by Manchester United.

They are second in the WSL, three points behind leaders Manchester City.

Hayes has won the WSL title in each of the past four seasons and the FA Cup for the past three, in a 12-year spell that comes to an end this summer when she takes charge of the United States.

“I just want the players to go out and enjoy themselves tomorrow,” Hayes said. “I want them to play in front of a fanbase that I truly hope appreciates this group of players.

“I believe this team over a number of years has delivered so much success for this club and to these fans, and sometimes I feel the players get taken for granted on that. So I want our fans to show appreciation.

“I care that they realise the level of success we have had is difficult to do all the time, to keep winning and winning and winning. I’m proud that we keep doing that even if it doesn’t always go our way. We have to pick ourselves up and go again.”

Despite the obvious disappointment at seeing their quadruple hopes end in successive games, Chelsea can still win a double of the WSL and Champions League, and Hayes has challenged her players to “show up”.

“In an ideal world, you go into the summer with a medal you can take with you. Nobody wants to just go into the summer with memories,” she said.

“But we’ve done a lot of winning. It’s not like we don’t know what that feels like.

“There’s still a way to go. We’re still in two competitions and we have to commit to that in the same way we have with everything else. We need to show up – that’s what I’m challenging the players to do. Show up in everything we’re doing daily.”

‘A wounded animal is a dangerous animal’

Villa boss Carla Ward expects to face a Chelsea side hurting from cup disappointment – and is wary of opponents who won 6-0 the last time they met.

“A wounded animal is a dangerous animal,” Ward said. “It’s as clear as that. Emma and her team are mentality monsters, we know that.

“They are hurting and you don’t ever want to play a team that’s hurting, especially a Chelsea team who are champions.

“They will want to react and I have absolutely no doubt they will react. They have world-class players, a world-class manager and they will be ready. They will want to put things right to make sure they stay on track to win the league.”

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