Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has conceded that his side are experiencing too many ups and downs in recent games as they failed to qualify for the next round of the FA Cup but proclaimed that Middlesbrough deserved to win on merit. The Championship club beat Spurs 1-0 in their 5th round clash.
Middlesbrough hosted Tottenham at the Riverside stadium for a tense affair in the fifth round of the FA Cup but despite all the odds against them, the Championship outfit produced a spectacular performance on Tuesday night to dump Tottenham out of the competition in extra-time. Antonio Conte fielded a full-strength side sticking with the starting eleven which won 4-0 at Leeds United in the league on Saturday.
Boro booked their quarter-final spot and continued their momentum in the competition after dumping Manchester United in the previous round. Matt Doherty and Harry Kane had their chances to give the London club the lead throughout the game but the duo spurned their efforts.
It meant that eventually, Spurs were made to pay in the second half of extra time as teenager Josh Coburn slotted the ball past Hugo Lloris to secure the win for Middlesbrough. Conte revealed that the Championship club were good value for their win but slammed his side’s inconsistency in recent weeks.
"We lost a good chance to go to the next round and play in the quarter-finals of an important competition like the FA Cup. There is for sure disappointment for the final result. I think this type of game, especially when you play away, against a team that plays in the [Championship] you have to know the difficulty. At the end, Middlesbrough won the game and deserved to go to the next round,” Conte told Sky Sports.
“Today we are talking about a defeat. The last game we won. Two games ago we lost. Three games ago we won. I can't hide the reality. We're having too many ups and downs. This is a problem and maybe it was also in the past. In my opinion, there is only one way to try to improve: to continue to work in every aspect," he added.