Robert Vilahamn praises Tottenham squad after 'perfect night' in Continental Cup
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Robert Vilahamn, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur v Bristol City at Brisbane Road on November 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Robert Vilahamn described his night as 'perfect' to VAVEL after Tottenham Hotspur beat Bristol City 3-0 in the Continental Cup. 

It took them to the top of Group D, currently sitting one point ahead of Women's Championship side Southampton. However, the Saints host Arsenal tomorrow evening, with both sides capable of knocking Spurs off top spot. 

Two goals from Rosella Ayane and a penalty from Kit Graham secured victory for Tottenham, with it being a comfortable victory throughout. It continued the Vilahamn renaissance in N17 as the high press and aggression caused several problems for the Robins. 

Spurs are in a strong position to qualify for the quarter-finals as Vilahamn suggested they will try to win everything they compete in.

“We want to win everything we compete in. I think the cup games in this country are quite a big thing so I really want to do that. The Conti Cup is really strange with this group stage and teams coming in from the Champions League failure, so we have a good chance of getting to the quarter-finals, but I’m not really sure how we do it. I just want to win everything we play in," he said.

He also provided a quick update on Ellie Brazil, who did not feature at Brisbane Road. 

“It’s a bit of both [a tactical decision or injury]. She has a feeling for something (quickly described as a niggle to Vilahamn whilst he struggled to find the English word), so we need to check that out before we know anything more. She couldn’t perform today and couldn’t play today," the manager told VAVEL. 

  • "It’s the perfect match for us"

Very few nights are ever stress-free for a team associated with Spurs. The North London club are famous for making things far more difficult than they need to be.

However, it was a different story at Brisbane Road. The early penalty by Graham calmed the nerves of a heavily rotated squad with nine changes, whilst Ayane's two composed finishes epitomised the relaxed nature of the match.

Epitomising this, Vilahamn told VAVEL it was a 'perfect' night post-match.

“No, it’s perfect actually. You play very calmly and with a certain style, you score goals, create that many chances and then you think we’re going to win this game, then the players can play out [the game] and save some energy actually as well. It’s the perfect match for us in the middle of two tough games."

The Swedish later added that Spurs planned to exploit space in behind Bristol City's defence, whilst also playing through their midfield.

“We wanted to play through them and in between them, but when we couldn’t, we always had the players who could be used in behind. The first goal [the penalty] is a goal from in behind. When we do both, we give them a tough time to handle it. I think the mixture of that today was a very good thing.

"Jessica Naz as a striker sometimes gave us something different; I liked her there. When she’s a winger, she’s in more of the build-up play, but now she can go in behind all the time. Ayane ended the game as a striker as well – when she scored her 2nd goal. We tried different things and [now] have different options in different games which is good for us," he said.

  • "The starting eleven showed me they want to play more"

Spurs made nine changes to their starting lineup against Bristol City. Only Naz and Ria Percival kept their place from Spurs' 1-1 draw with Leicester at the weekend.

It gave the opportunity to the squad players to prove their point; they did exactly that. Comfortable from start to finish, they have given Vilahamn a tactical conundrum ahead of the coming weeks.

“There were a lot of players today that showed me they want to play more. I love that because that’s how it should be, but, also those players who were already playing, showed me they want to play more. It’s also a tricky one, but showing what we did today with actions and not complaining instead. That’s how we want to do it. The whole starting eleven showed me they want to play more," he stated to VAVEL.

Tottenham travel up north to face Manchester City at the weekend, which is set to be one of their toughest matches of the season. It is unlikely Vilahamn will make any drastic changes to his consistent starting eleven, whilst he stated the team are better off to compete against the stronger teams than they were against Chelsea.

“We had Chelsea in the first game [and] we didn’t really know how to compete against the top teams. We could compete against Chelsea and now we’ve had seven weeks [since], so we can compete more now against the top teams than before. I have enormous respect for Man City and what they’re doing, so it’s going to be tough. I know we can [compete]," Vilahamn stated.