Chelsea boss Emma Hayes suffering with illness ahead of Manchester United title showdown

Ill: Emma Hayes  (Getty Images)
Ill: Emma Hayes (Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is struggling with illness ahead of Sunday's crunch Women's Super League clash against Manchester United.

Hayes was forced to skip Friday’s pre-match press conference. with her assistant, the team's general manager Paul Green, fielding questions from the media.

He said: "We are hoping Emma is going to be back tomorrow, it is just a viral illness so hopefully she can shrug it off.

"She wasn't feeling the best during the second half of the Brighton game and still felt a little bit under the weather yesterday. So hopefully she'll have recovered today and be back in for training tomorrow.

"We'll have to wait and see, hopefully she'll be good to go. If she isn't, Denise (Reddy, his fellow assistant) and I will take the team as we did earlier in the season. Emma has still got access to the training footage and there'll be regular communication if she wasn't to make it on Sunday, as we had earlier in the season.

"She'll have a direct earpiece to Denise on the sideline but we're hoping she'll be back if not tomorrow then certainly on Sunday."

Green and Reddy oversaw the first team for six matches - all victories, including a 3-1 win at United - after Hayes underwent an emergency hysterectomy in October.

Sunday's contest at Kingsmeadow sees the league's top two go head to head, with United currently a point clear of champions Chelsea having played a game more.

Additional reporting by Press Association.