From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Antonio Conte refused to be drawn on the future of Tanguy Ndombele after the midfielder was booed off by fans in Spurs’ 3-1 FA Cup win against Morecambe.
Three late goals ensured Tottenham avoided an upset at the hands of the League One side, with Harry Kane and Lucas Moura inspiring the hosts to victory as substitutes.
Conte turned to his bench with 20 minutes remaining and his side still a goal down, and chose to bring off Dele Alli, Bryan Gil and Ndombele.
The French midfielder was the first to be officially subbed, though was the last to leave the pitch after slowly walking off the field of play which irked Spurs fans, who loudly booed him as he headed straight down the tunnel.
Speaking to the media post-game, Conte did not publicly call out Tottenham’s record signing and did not give much away when asked if Ndombele still has a future at the club.
“Honestly, I was so focused on the game because we were losing 1-0,” Conte said. “I think that this type of situation, they [the players] are in football. You have to be good to try to change the opinion if someone is disappointed with you.
“It’s normal. I was a player and it happened to me sometimes when someone was unhappy about my performance. But this is our life. I repeat, it’s ok. We have to continue to work and to try and be better next time.
“We have to know very well that if you perform well, the fans are happy. When you don’t perform well, the fans are not happy. This is football. If we think the fans have to be happy every time, if you win or lose, I think it’s not right. Me, for sure, when I don’t win I’m not happy. I’m a bit upset when this happens and I think that is ok.”
Conte later revealed that he was yet to speak to the players – including Ndombele – after the match and so had not discussed the incident in the dressing room.