Antonio Conte has made it very clear that the key to fixing Tottenham is creating a team that is “more stable than the past”.
Tottenham Hotspur was eliminated by Middlesbrough in FA Cup fifth-round tie as Teenager Josh Coburn scored in the extra-time to cause another FA Cup upset by knocking out Tottenham with a 1-0 extra-time victory.
Spurs followed up their impressive 3-2 win at Manchester City with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Burnley and after an excellent victory over Leeds United at the weekend, it really did look like Tottenham will kick on and go on a run. However, Spurs fell at the very first hurdle and this time, it was against a side who play their football in the second division as they suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat again at Championship side Middlesbrough.
Speaking to the media following the shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough on Tuesday, Conte made it clear that fixing that inconsistency within the club- something that has existed in recent years before his time, will be key to improving its future.
“In this moment I’m the last person, I don’t think about myself. When I speak with my players and in my team and say that we have to think about ‘us’, not ‘me’,” he said when asked about it being a rare season for him without a trophy.
“For me no problem and for me there is the desire, the will, the patience to try to continue to work very hard to improve, to make this team more stable than the past, because I think this is the key that can change the situation.”
When asked how he could fix the problem, he added: “I try every day through the work. Also sometimes to speak.
“For sure in this type of situation you need to find the right key to go into the mind of the players, because it’s not only sometimes a tactical problem or a technical problem.
“Sometimes you have to try to work and to push in other aspects, the mental aspects and try to stay focused and to work also on the training sessions, to keep focusing.”
“I know that it’s very difficult because to be focused in every moment of the training, of the game is not easy, but if we want to be competitive in the future, these aspects we have to improve a lot.”
“The truth is that today we are talking about a defeat. The last game we won, two games ago we lost, three games ago we won, and I think that I can’t hide the reality now.”
“The reality that we are having too many ups and downs. We have to try and work, and I think this is a problem now and maybe also in the past.
“In my opinion there is only one way to try to improve, and to continue to work many aspects and to persevere.
“To be patient because you need to have patience in this process, and to hope in the future the situation will be much better and not to wait for a long time.”
Josh Coburn’s extra-time finish ensured Middlesborough overcame Tottenham Hotspur to progress into the FA Cup quarter-finals as Chris Wilder’s side claimed another Premier League scalp in their amazing FA Cup adventure.
The Championship outfit were the better side throughout, booking their quarter-final spot and ensuring Spurs will end another season without a trophy after an abject display on Teesside.