Robert Vilahamn: Manchester United ‘would be stupid if they don’t fear us’

The Adobe Women’s FA Cup will have a new name engraved come May 12, after Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United sealed their progression to Wembley Stadium. The Lilywhites needed extra time to see off Leicester City in N17, producing a stunning comeback after Jutta Rantala’s early opener.

Jessica Naz restored parity within the final ten minutes at Tottenham Hotspur, forcing an additional thirty minutes of play – and speaking post-match, Robert Vilahamn took the opportunity to praise the forward for her continued efforts.

‘I think you can tell last year she had really really high quality, but she didn’t really perform consistently in that league,’ he said. ‘This year she has taken big steps, she can be a 9, she can be a winger. She’s probably one of the quickest players in this league, and she’s strong and technical as well.’

Embed from Getty Images

With 118 minutes on the clock, Martha Thomas etched her name into Tottenham history as she nodded home to clinch victory. Vilahamn commented that the Scottish forward is the perfect embodiment of the club’s motto, telling reporters that ‘she is what Tottenham represents – to dare is to do. This is the second game where she has scored a match winning goal, I’m happy for her as well, because I think she has worked so hard to get to this point in her career.’

Speaking on what an appearance at Wembley Stadium will mean for Tottenham Hotspur, Vilahamn expressed that ‘it’s evidence that we do something really good with the women’s football at Tottenham. To do it at this stadium in front of so many fans, and to show that we can compete on this stage and actually be going to Wembley, it makes me very proud and very happy.’

‘We should celebrate today that we have done something really good, it’s worth celebrating. We haven’t won anything yet, so we need to make sure we get back to the training ground and work really hard. When we go to the final, of course we want to win a title for the fans and this club. So of course we’re going to do everything we can, but we’re not going to be favourites, but that’s fine.’

Embed from Getty Images

But one player that will be absent on May 12 is Grace Clinton. Now capped on numerous occasions by the Lionesses, Clinton has formed an important part of the Lilywhites’ impressive rise this season – but she will be ineligible to face her parent club, Manchester United.

‘I mean I just feel sorry for her, I think she is not getting the chance to play at Wembley in the final. But for us, we have a big squad, we have a lot of good players. For me, we know why she can not play against them. It’s the same next week, she can not play them in the league as well,’ Vilahamn acknowledged.

The Spurs boss went on to issue a word of warning to their opponents, insisting that ‘they would be stupid if they don’t fear us, because we have beaten good teams. But, on the other hand I don’t care. I know what we can do, and I know we are going to go there and compete and try to go for it.’

‘Of course it’s going to be a tough game, but we don’t really care so much about the opponent, we’re just going to make sure we take steps and play better football and try to win the first title for this club for a long time.’