Robert Vilahamn says Tottenham closing on WSL elite but still have work to do

Spurs reached their first Women’s FA Cup final this weekend, losing 4-0 to Manchester United.

Spurs manager Robert Vilahamn saw his side lost the FA Cup final on Sunday
Spurs manager Robert Vilahamn saw his side lost the FA Cup final on Sunday (John Walton/PA)

Robert Vilahamn is confident Tottenham are closing the gap on the top Women’s Super League sides but says a resource boost is necessary for them to stay truly competitive.

Spurs came up short in their first ever Women’s FA Cup final after losing 4-0 to Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday, but their very presence in the showpiece was another indicator of the promising momentum the club have generated in their first year under the Swedish boss.

Tottenham are poised for a sixth-place WSL finish, their second-best top-flight result since their promotion from the Championship in 2019, and were also League Cup quarter-finalists this campaign.

Vilahamn said: “Of course I am very proud. It’s quite cool that they are actually on this journey and the new signings, the young ones are showing that they want to be here, but we’re not there yet, so we need to keep going.

“The gap is not closed yet, but it’s smaller now, so we just need to make sure that we can take the next step next year and make sure we grow from that.

“If you look at the budget the top four clubs have, they have a lot more money they’re using so that’s one thing, we need to keep going with that and we’re doing that, and then the environment to develop players and find our identity.

“Right now we have a good environment where we can actually sign players, future Lionesses for example, and through that we are going to make sure we can compete against them, and learning how to beat them.

“I think we learned how to beat Arsenal this year and how to beat Man City, almost Man United, to understand we need to be very good to beat Man United and we were not that. We need to develop there, but we are surrounded with staff, the club, we’re taking good steps. We are starting from a high level next year. ”

While Sunday’s contest looked evenly matched early on, United took control when England international Ella Toone broke the deadlock with a brilliant strike in the third minute of first-half added time before a second-half Rachel Williams header and Lucia Garcia brace put a comeback out of reach.

It was a first major trophy for Marc Skinner’s side, who were themselves runners-up to Chelsea in last season’s Wembley final – also their first.

It was a silver lining in what has been an otherwise disappointing campaign for United, who last season secured Champions League football for the first time with a runners-up spot in the league, but look set to miss out this time with a fifth-placed finish come this weekend’s final matches.

United skipper Katie Zelem said: “Being the captain of this club is one thing, but to lift the trophy here at Wembley is a dream come true.

“We won’t beat around the bush. We know the league campaign needs work, it’s not good enough for a Manchester United team to finish fifth, and I think for us we want to be pushing for the Champions League all the time, but for us to be able to win and add a trophy to the cabinet and gold medals around our neck makes it bittersweet.”