‘We talked about leaving at the top. I got some wise words from Sir Alex Ferguson’


EMMA HAYES revealed Sir Alex Ferguson is among the leading football figures to congratulate her on becoming the next USA Women’s national boss.

The Blues gaffer dismissed suggestions that becoming the women’s game’s highest-paid coach was a key factor behind her decision to take the role.

GettyEmma Hayes says Sir Alex Ferguson called to congratulate her following her USA women’s manager appointment[/caption]

PAHayes says the subject of legacy and leaving at the top came up during her call with Sir Alex[/caption]

Hayes joked that she had to pause a chat with Chelsea men’s boss Mauricio Pochettino to take the call from the Manchester United iconGetty

Hayes was speaking ahead of her side facing Liverpool at Stamford Bridge today at 1:30pm.

The clash between Matt Beard’s Reds and the WSL leaders will be the first league game to take place since Hayes next job was confirmed.

And the Chelsea chief joked she had to pause a chat with her Blues prem counterpart Mauricio Pochettino to take a congratulatory call from legendary ex-Manchester United boss Ferguson.

Hayes, 46, said: “Sir Alex and I had a chat. He phoned me, but I was in the middle of talking to Poch (Mauricio Pochettino), so I was torn unfortunately.

“I had to tell Poch to wait.

“There’s not many people you’re going to ask Poch to wait for, but I did say to him it was Sir Alex.

“He rings me from time to time, so I wasn’t surprised I received his call.

“And anything that he says to me I always take with such pride.”

Sir Alex, who serves as a Man United board director and global ambassador, cemented his place as one of the managerial greats during his 26-year reign at the helm of the club’s men’s side.

In that period the Scot led the team to 38 trophies wins including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns.

Hayes, who has guided her Chelsea stars to 13 major trophies, added: “He’s a legend of the game and someone whose opinion I value.

“And he has a love of America, so we talked a little bit about that and a little bit about legacy.

“We talked a little bit about leaving at the top.

“I got some wise words from him. I’m sure it won’t be the last phone call I get from him this season.”

Hayes’ new role will see her take charge of the 2019 World Cup winners two months ahead of the July 26 start of next year’s Olympics in Paris.

It is claimed the London-born head coach will receive a salary similar to US men’s national team boss Gregg Berhalter.

However, for Hayes the chance to manage the most successful international women’s side was the only role that would tempt her away from Chelsea.

And the five-time WSL title winning manager insists the salary bracket was not the motivating factor for her.

Among the reasons was the chance to return to a country where she built her credentials managing US college and National Women’s Soccer League sides.  

The Blues manager added: “I’m not going to comment on what’s written in the press about pay.

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“I have certainly been awarded the contract that I think I’m worth.

“I worked in this job (at Chelsea) for £6,000 a year at one point, then £12,000.

“Money has never been my motivator in life. I think focusing on that would be against who I am.

“I made no secret of the fact that I spent 10 years of my life living in America and built a lot of connections in the country.

“It probably was the only job that would take me away from Chelsea.”

The Blues’ clash with Liverpool could see them open up a six-point gap at the summit if they win their sixth match in seven WSL games.

However, Hayes warns her side cannot underestimate Beard’s Reds who sit fifth after a run of two draws and three wins in six matches.

The Blues gaffer said: “Matt has been there, seen it and done it.

“He’s a winner, he’s, he’s got titles to his name, and he deserves that respect for those accolades.

“Moving to Melwood and improving the squad in general, they’ve got so many more goal threats.

“They put six bodies high against your backline and that’s difficult.

“They’re confident in the way they’re playing, and I don’t think they’ll come to Stamford Bridge intimidated in the slightest. 

“I say this, so the players know what to expect and they have to deliver the performance that matters.”

AlamyChelsea host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in their seventh WSL game this season[/caption]

Beard, who led Liverpool to back-to-back WSL titles in 2013 and 2014, was Hayes’ predecessor at Chelsea from 2009 to 2012.

And the Blues boss paid tribute to Reds manager who is currently in the second year of his second spell at Liverpool’s helm.

Hayes added: “You only have to speak to players who have played for Matt who will tell you he’s a caring guy.

“He looks after his people. He was brilliant for me when my Dad died.

“He understood and he’s been through it.

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“He sent me a really emotional message the other day, when the announcement happened. I was crying from it.

AlamyHayes paid tribute to Reds boss Matt Beard ahead of her side’s clash with the Merseyside team[/caption]

“I look at his team, the physicality of his team.

“They’ve always been competitive, but I think they’re more consistent now than ever.

“And he seems comfortable in himself that I know he’s going to go on and continue to thrive.”

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