Robert Vilahamn is continuing to focus on the performances and not the results at Tottenham Hotspur this season as the club continues to develop under his philosophy.

The Swedish manager arrived last summer, taking over a squad low on confidence and struggling across the pitch. However, since then, he has drastically improved their confidence — and made Tottenham one of the best teams outside of the 'Big Four'.

They currently sit sixth in the WSL, level on points with Liverpool in fifth, but Vilahamn still only wants to focus on the performances. 

"The main thing is to focus on the performance and not the results," he stated.

Alongside their weekend match against Aston Villa, Spurs must now prepare for their fourth match of the season against Manchester City in the FA Cup. They have lost all three previous matches to Gareth Taylor's side on an aggregate score of 10-0. Vilahamn is starting to know Man City's tactics by heart.

"The thing is, we've improved every game and we got better results and performed better. In one way, you want to play against other teams," he said. 

"On the other hand, we need to learn how to beat these teams to get to the point where we want to be. If we're going to play Man City four times this year, it's a good way for me to get to know them. If we’re going to win the cup, we need to beat the best teams. Now is the time to do that if we want to win a trophy this year." 

Tottenham beat Aston Villa 4-2 in the previous WSL fixture between the two sides this season, thanks to a hat-trick from Martha Thomas. Another win against Carla Ward's side on Sunday would put them on 22 points and in firm contention to finish fifth in the league. 

Ward's side have struggled all season to gain consistency, yet Vilahamn believes they were unlucky with results at the start of the season. 

"When you look at them last year, it was very impressive how they played and how they won most of the games against the teams under them. This year, they came with high expectations I guess and they had some hard results at the beginning," he said.

"They had some good performances but they weren't able to win those games. Self-confidence creates bad results sometimes but they have a very good coach. On the other hand, we have taken steps from that game [the 4-2 win away to Aston Villa] to now.

"We know that we can dictate the game against them and win the game if we reach the levels that we want to. It's going to be fun to see because Aston Villa are one of the teams we want to have below us this year."

Comparisons between Aston Villa and Tottenham have naturally picked up recently due to the Midlands side's fifth-placed finish last year. It epitomises why Vilahamn still only wants to focus on the performance.

"If you look at Tottenham two years ago, they finished fifth, which was amazing. Aston Villa last year finished fifth which was [also] amazing, but now they're struggling this year. I don’t really care if we come fifth this year," the Swede said.

"I want to focus on being a better team and playing better football, because - in the long end - we [want to] compete against the top three. For me, it's very important to not look at the table so much, because then you lose the steps you need to take to create a winning team.

"I'm very much focused on how we want to perform [and] I want to bring players that connect to how we want to play. I'm going to stick to that."

  • On implementing his style of play

Vilahamn's high-pressing, aggressive and often flowing style of football has won plaudits across the country this season. Spurs were expected to struggle, particularly with Bethany England missing three months out injured, but that has not been the case.

His style of play has brought hope to the Tottenham fanbase — and he insists that the club needs to continue to focus on implementing his attacking style of football.

"When you come to a new club and want to bring an identity, you need to start with what the identity is — and that's attacking football. We went all in on that in the first half of the year," Vilahamn said.

"We also need to show the fans that we can defend and get results against the top teams. In the 7-0 and 4-0 losses, we made sure we focused on how we wanted to defend together, showing the fans we can win games in different ways.

"Now we’re getting to a point where we want to focus more on attacking football again and keep the defence. Hopefully, we can take steps against Aston Villa."

Grace Clinton and Celin Bizet have both played a huge part in Vilahamn's successful season. Clinton has won plaudits all over the country, even being picked for the recent England squad.

However, Norweigian Bizet has gone under the radar, despite scoring four WSL goals this season.

"She's been one of the most consistently good players this year for us. Grace Clinton has this really high talent, but Celin [Bizet] has been consistently good for basically 90 minutes each match," Vilahamn stated regarding Bizet.

"She’s not surprised me, but last year I saw a player who could be really good but also quite poor in some games. She has tough competition in this team but she’s making it easy for me to play her because she's doing everything we want from her. 

"She has the potential to be a top winger in this league; she’s very keen to learn so it’s very fun to work with her."