Tottenham Hotspur will face off against Middlesbrough FC in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Spurs are only fighting for a top-four finish despite the league not being over. As a result, this competition is all that’s left for the north London club to win any silverware this season.
Despite facing a club that’s eighth in the EFL Championship, manager Antonio Conte stated that every fixture in England is a difficult one during his news conference. The Italian tactician is well aware that his squad can be beaten, considering they fell to a Burnley side fighting relegation last week.
“You know very well that in England, every game is difficult, especially in this competition when you play away against Middlesbrough, who are having a good season in the Championship,” Conte said.
Furthermore, Conte states that Middlesbrough did eliminate Manchester United from the FA Cup, winning on penalty kicks to get past The Red Devils in the fourth round, so Conte is preaching not to underestimate the opponent despite them being in a tier below.
“Middlesbrough are a good team. When you are able to win against Manchester United – not to forget, Middlesbrough eliminated United from this competition, and they are one of the best teams in this league,” Conte said.
“It means they have important value. For this reason, it will be very important not to underestimate our opponent and the difficulty of this game.”
Spurs hope to fall into another disappointing result as they did last week when they were coming off an impressive win over Manchester City but lost to Burnley. This past weekend, Tottenham had a convincing win over Leeds United, so Conte’s squad wants to avoid a poor result versus Middlesbrough.