Robert Vilahamn: ‘If we go into this game thinking it’s going to be easy, then we are probably going to lose’

Addressing reporters in his pre-match press conference at Hotspur Way on Thursday, Robert Vilahamn spoke of the injuries within his squad as they prepare for Sunday’s trip to Ashton Gate. The Lilywhites will face a Bristol City side threatened by relegation, but Vilahamn insists that the Robins must not be underestimated.

Tottenham have found themselves with a selection dilemma since Bethany England’s return, but the choice will be a clear-cut one for Vilahamn this weekend, with Martha Thomas set to be sidelined.

Martha is going to be out this weekend,’ he told reporters. ‘It’s her first week in rehab and she’s going according to the programme and everything, so hopefully it’s only three weeks. She will use the national team break to work and hopefully be back for the [FA] Cup game.’ 

Barbora Votíková will also be an absentee this weekend, with Vilahamn taking the opportunity to explain that ‘she got a concussion in training this week so she will be out this weekend. We followed the protocol there – she is here training easily today, but she will not be involved on Sunday.’

In more positive news, ‘Molly [Bartrip] is back on the field and has trained well. If everything goes well on Saturday, she will be in the squad on Sunday.’

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To the untrained eye, it would perhaps appear that the outcome of Sunday’s clash could be decided before a ball has even been kicked in BS3. The Robins are six points adrift of safety, and find themselves hosting the Adobe Women’s FA Cup semifinalists – but Vilahamn insists that his side will not become complacent.

‘In most of the games they play, they compete very well and it’s only a few scenarios in the game that make them lose it. They have good players and good strategies to defend and then when they go for the press, they are good at that as well.’

‘They still have good enough players to win games in this league, and they have good enough players who can hurt us as well. If we go into this game thinking it’s going to be easy, then we are probably going to lose this match, so we need to be professional,’ he warned.

Following Sunday’s outing, the Lilywhites will not play a competitive fixture until they host Leicester City in that aforementioned Adobe Women’s FA Cup semifinal tie. That match will be held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 14, and Vilahamn told reporters that the club ‘re-did the schedule so all the players get a few days off. We’re going to have the Friday to Sunday over Easter off.’

‘Mentally and physically, it’s a good break for them and the staff too, then we will be back for the FA Cup game, working hard to prepare ourselves.’

Tottenham Hotspur face Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Sunday, with kickoff in BS3 scheduled for 14:00 GMT.