Tottenham Women's secret to FA Cup success as they look to complete comeback trilogy

Robert Vilahamn Manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on
Tottenham boss Robert Vilahamn has explained how yoga has played a key role in his team's success -Credit:Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Women's secret to their FA Cup success might just lie in the tranquillity of yoga, as manager Robert Vilahamn credits the practice for their remarkable resilience.

Spurs have shown a knack for dramatic comebacks on their journey to the Women's FA Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, overturning deficits against Sheffield United, Manchester City in a nail-biting quarter-final penalty shootout, and Leicester City, with Martha Thomas' extra-time header sealing their spot in the final.

Vilahamn highlighted the mental fortitude of his squad ahead of the big game on Sunday. He said: "I think you can see a strength in the character of the players, but also part of the environment that we want to create.

"One of the four key words in our environment is to be present and handle set-backs, so when you look at those games where we go down to Sheffield United, down to Manchester City, down to Leicester, it shows the character of being present and being able to remain focussed and turn the game around. Not by luck but by playing good football and keeping to the plan.

"That's why we do yoga, so we can work on ensuring our minds and bodies can handle it. So it's proof that it works in one way but you also have good footballers and good people on the bench who can use their energy. We have good strength in the squad."

"I'm the first one participating in yoga. I'm loving it the most. When I was introduced to it years ago, it helped me to stay calm, to make sure that I can help the team stay calm.", reports the Mirror.

READ MORE: Tottenham striker bidding to 'break down barriers' ahead of Manchester United showdown

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou to consider three Tottenham changes vs Burnley as Oliver Skipp decision looms

He reflected on his past coaching style and how it's evolved: "I was very aggressive in the way I was coaching before," Vilahamn said. "in substitutions, with feelings. We can never make too many decisions on feelings, we should stay calm and use our brains. Yoga helps me to be a good coach and a good leader."

The Swedish coach's serene approach has been central to Tottenham's remarkable turnaround this season, as they've gone from battling relegation fears to securing a spot in their first major final. However, the journey has seen its fair share of hurdles. Spurs have suffered some heavy defeats, including a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City, and have struggled against top-half teams, with only one win in nine attempts.

Tottenham's tendency to let in early goals is becoming a worrying trend. In their last four outings, they've conceded five times within the opening 20 minutes, with four of those goals coming before the 15-minute mark.

Tottenham have consistently shown resilience in their recent matches, securing one win and three draws without panic. Manager Vilahamn acknowledges the pattern but doesn't see it as a major issue, instead viewing it as part of the team's development under his tactical approach.

"We look at why we concede goals and early goals and if it was a big problem of we weren't playing good or working well in the beginning, we would fix that but we actually play quite good football," he explained. "It's more about seeing how we can make better choices in the beginning of the game. But at the same time, we're an attacking team, we want to get forward and we're not going to change that. It's a lot harder to play football when you're one-goal down as opposed to one-goal up. We work every week on that, so I'm not afraid of that."

In their last encounter with Sunday's opponents United, Spurs had to come from behind, with two first-half goals swinging the momentum back in their favour before Maya Le Tissier's injury-time equaliser ensured a share of the spoils, highlighting the WSL's penchant for dramatic finishes.

United, on the other hand, saw the draw as another letdown in a season that hasn't lived up to expectations. Despite being tipped as favourites for their return to Wembley for the second year running, Vilahamn remains confident that his Tottenham side has what it takes to compete.

He added: "They are the favourites because they have been top of the table for a while. On the other hand, you can also tell that they are not top three anymore. We played a good game against them and saw that we could actually compete against them, almost win. So yes, they are favourites, they were there last year. But we are taking steps all of the time and we have beaten good teams this year. So we feel that we have everything to win this game and we believe we can."