'This is not the end, this is the beginning'

Tottenham players look dejected
The closest Tottenham came to scoring in the final was when Bethany England (centre) hit the bar [Reuters]

Tottenham boss Robert Vilahamn said "this is not the end, this is the beginning" after his side were well-beaten by Manchester United in the Women's FA Cup final.

Spurs ultimately fell short as United comfortably won 4-0 at Wembley to claim their first major trophy.

Marc Skinner's side were dominant and scored four goals from their eight shots on target, while Spurs failed to have a single effort on goal.

But Vilahamn believes his players are closing the gap between themselves and the top teams, and have to take the positives from the result.

"The main thing I said was this is not the end, it is the beginning," Vilahamn said.

"We still have a gap between us and the top teams but that’s normal. We are closing the gap but we haven’t closed the gap yet."

Vilahamn's first season in charge of the north London club has been a positive one, securing a sixth-placed Women's Super League finish and reaching a Wembley final.

While that final came sooner than many may have thought, and the result was far from what Spurs wanted, Vilahamn wants to use the hurt to bounce back.

"If you take away the feelings right now, you need to look at these players doing some incredible things this year.

"We are at Wembley playing in front of our fans and they are actually enjoying it and staying, and supporting us after.

"We got a good experience today and we are learning how to play at Wembley more times. We need to look at it that way because the players are amazing."

'The only way is up from here'

Spurs captain Bethany England echoed Vilahamn's comments and is confident her team-mates will learn from their Wembley defeat.

"What I told the girls at the end was wear those runners-up medals with pride because not everyone gets to come to Wembley and play in an FA Cup final," she told BBC Sport.

"To play in front of 76,000 people. We fell short but Manchester United were here in the same position last year, they know the heartache and they grew from it. That's exactly what we're going to do."

England said the position Spurs are in now compared to this stage last season, when they were embroiled in a relegation battle, shows how far the club have come in a short space of time.

She wants to use United, who lost 1-0 to Chelsea in last year's FA Cup final, as an example of what can be achieved for Spurs going forward.

"There were a lot of tears out there after the final whistle," she said. "We worked so hard to get here and it felt like we deserved a better performance. The fans deserved more.

"Something very special is going on here. There is so much room to grow. You can see the impact from last season to this season on and off the pitch, and the only way is up from here."

Spurs have the chance to bounce back quickly when they return to WSL action on Wednesday with a game against title-chasing Chelsea, before facing West Ham on the final day.