Women's FA Cup: Robert Vilahamn confident have 'everything' to beat 'favourites' Manchester United

Vilahamn will lead Tottenham into their first Women’s FA Cup final on Sunday (Getty Images)
Vilahamn will lead Tottenham into their first Women’s FA Cup final on Sunday (Getty Images)

Tottenham boss Robert Vilahamn says Manchester United are the favourites for Sunday's FA Cup final but that Spurs feel they "have everything" to emerge victorious.

United are returning to Wembley after finishing as FA Cup runners-up to Chelsea last season, when they also came second in the Women's Super League.

Marc Skinner's team are currently fifth, one place ahead of first-time finalists Tottenham, whose run has included getting past Manchester City on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Spurs drew 2-2 at United in the WSL last month - leading until a stoppage-time equaliser for the hosts - and Vilahamn told a press conference on Thursday: "Of course, I must say they are the favourite team for this game, because they have been near the top of the table for a while.

"On the other hand, this year they are not top three any more. We played a good game against them. We saw we can actually compete against them.

"Yes, they are favourites. Yes, they were there last year, but we are taking steps all the time and we have beaten good teams this year.

"So we feel like we have everything to win in this game and that we have a good chance to win."

Tottenham's 2023-24 league campaign has also featured a 1-0 win over Arsenal in December, and Vilahamn added: "It started when we had a draw against Arsenal in the Conti Cup (3-3 before losing on penalties) and then after that we won against them (in the WSL).

"Then we had a few more games where we had some good performances and then we beat Man City in the cup and had the draw against Man United.

"So it's four or five times where we competed with the top four teams and that means the players are now understanding we can compete and beat Man United. It's not a question any more, we know we can do that and that we have a good chance to win on Sunday.

"You can see and feel that. Everybody is going for the win. We're not just happy to be there. We have enormous respect for them, they were there last year, they are a great team - but it's a final."

Sunday's sold-out contest between two sides promoted to the WSL in 2019 will see a new winner of the cup and first since 2012 to not be either Chelsea, Manchester City or Arsenal.

And Vilahamn said: "If you look at the final, a new winner, Tottenham or Manchester United, I think it's a good thing for this country to get more teams in the league competing for trophies, because you want to have a competitive league."

The 41-year-old Swede, appointed Tottenham boss last summer, also spoke about the benefits of yoga sessions for himself and the players.

He said: "When I was introduced to that a few years ago, it helped me to stay calm, to make sure I can help the team to be calm.

"I was very aggressive when I was coaching before and I kind of did substitutions when I got feelings.

"It helped me a lot to make sure I can make the right decisions and I think it helps me when we do the substitutions during games, I don't panic too much. It helps me a lot to be a good coach and a good leader.

"If you asked some of the players they would probably say it's boring and why do we do it, but I know everybody's different and (it) takes time to understand your bodies and mindset and how you can work with it.

"I know it works really good to make sure they can get some relaxed time and also to make sure they can understand in more depth with their bodies, because everything is about self-confidence and how you can play your way under pressure.

"There's a lot of good footballers who cannot perform on the biggest stage and stay on that stage. If you look at the players who can do it, they can stay present, keep going even if they fail.

"I know yoga helps - some of them love it, some of them will learn to love it."