Clinton says Spurs will not back down from WSL's best
Grace Clinton says Tottenham will look to express themselves against the best teams in the Women's Super League.
The 20-year-old joined Spurs on loan from Manchester United during the summer and is already impressed with what she has seen ahead of their opener at Chelsea on Sunday.
Swedish manager Robert Vilahamn was appointed in July and Clinton believes the North Londoners can give the division's elite "problems to solve" under his guidance.
Speaking exclusively to LiveScore, she explained: "I'm so excited [for the new season].
"The manager is one of the best I've had so far in the way he wants to play, talks and manages people.
"In the past, the top four teams in the WSL used to pick up easy wins against those at the bottom.
"But now it's going to be so competitive and it's something I like about Robert — he's not going to back off against these big teams.
"Spurs are going to go for it, give them a real challenge and problems to solve.
"Even if we're playing a big team, Robert is very keen on us attackers being brave and expressing ourselves on the ball, while being compact off it.
"Robert is giving me the licence to be free and trust myself.
"He has so much faith in me to combine with team-mates and create things — and that faith is just making me even more confident."
Clinton insists Spurs need to create an identity — something she believes is happening under Vilahamn's watch.
The England Under-23s ace added: "The football we've already played in pre-season has been positive.
"Although we haven't won all our games, that's great to see — and the goals will come!
"For Spurs now it's about getting that identity. In the past they've not really had that as much and that's the difference between the top teams.
"We want our identity and we're developing that with Robert. So hopefully we can stick with it and make progress from last season."
Clinton spent the second half of last season on loan at Bristol City and played a key role as the Vixens won the Championship title.
The creative midfielder's stellar displays saw her named the club's Young Player of the Season — and that success has provided additional confidence going into the new campaign.
Clinton said: "Going to Bristol helped me feel ready for this Spurs challenge.
"It's not pretty football in the Championship. You go there to battle hard and win the trophy, that's the job.
"The success was a relief as well after not getting many minutes at Manchester United — and there is also a lot of pressure on loan players.
"So to know you've smashed it and won a trophy, it's just a lovely feeling."
The England dream
One of Clinton's tasks at Spurs will be providing service to Lionesses striker Bethany England, who was appointed club captain earlier this month, and she cannot wait.
The No8 said: "I've grown up as a creator that wants to assist the striker, so it's a dream to play with someone like Bethany.
"She's just got that goalscoring instinct — and will make my life a lot easier!
"Bethany's a leader with her words but she's also a leader by example. She's the ultimate professional."