Tottenham’s FA Cup final defeat is the start of ‘a learning process,’ says Robert Vilahamn

Tottenham’s dreams of an Adobe Women’s FA Cup fairytale lay in tatters by mid-afternoon on Sunday, as Robert Vilahamn’s side were comprehensively dismantled in the second half of the 2023/24 final by Manchester United.

Proceedings had been fairly competitive throughout the opening 45 minutes, but the Red Devils snatched the lead just before the interval through Ella Toone and never looked back as they went on to record a 4-0 win.

Speaking in his post-match press conference at Wembley Stadium, Vilahamn reflected that ‘in the first half, we were quite competitive. We tried in the second half but they scored two goals quite quickly, and then we were all over the place. It’s really hard to play at 3-0 down in Wembley.’

‘[It is] very tough to lose, but I’m always looking at it like a learning process. We’re already at Wembley and this is good for the future,’ added the 41-year-old Swedish manager, whose remarkable optimism has been ever-present throughout his debut campaign in N17.

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‘It’s not fun to lose. Man United had a really good game. They picked a good eleven. They hurt us. They had a really good day. The first goal is a little bit tough for us,’ he explained to reporters.

Lapses in concentration throughout the second half allowed the Red Devils to assert their dominance on the match, with Becky Spencer’s attempted clearance gifting Manchester United their third goal of the afternoon.

Vilahamn insisted that he is ‘supporting Becky, because that’s how we want to play [out from the back]. That’s showing that she’s brave enough to do it. Unfortunately, it happened in a final that she gave the ball away – but she will come back.’

‘I’m taking that goal on me because that’s how I want her to play. The goalkeeper will make mistakes every year when you play like this. I’m going to make sure I help and support her on Tuesday. She’s a very mature woman and she will solve this. I know that. I will tell that as well.’

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