Maren Mjelde was included in the matchday squad for the first time in seven months for last week’s opening group fixture against Wolfsburg and the Norwegian has travelled with the group for tomorrow’s meeting with Juventus.
Speaking in her pre-match press conference, Hayes told the media that Mjelde will not be available for selection against the Italians tomorrow but is delighted to have the 31-year-old back among the Blues squad.
She added: ‘Maren is a huge part of our dressing room in so many ways. She is the real mother hen, a real quiet leader and someone who is a welcome return to the group. We need to keep building her minutes on the training pitch at the minute.
‘Maren and great Champions League nights go together. She is with us and she is someone everybody respects and looks up to, staff included.
‘She is a wise leader that has always earnt respect by being a model professional in every way, shape and form. She has worked so hard to get back to this position. It was a tricky injury, a tricky recovery but she is on the right side now. We will start to get some minutes in the international break which will be fantastic for her.
‘We will try and get her some minutes with our academy team and then build from there. I expect after the international break that she will come into the reckoning to be in for team selection.’
Tomorrow’s game against Juventus kicks-off at 8pm UK time (9pm CET) and will be available to watch live on DAZN’s YouTube channel.
Before then, get involved in our new Women’s Play Predictor for a chance to win some great prizes! Play on the 5th Stand app and make your selections for the game before registration closes.