Conte aiming to continue his proud personal record in the FA Cup

Spurs boss expecting a formidable test against Middlesbrough

Antonio Conte takes his Tottenham team to Middlesbrough on Tuesday seeking to extend his remarkable record in the FA Cup.

The Italian has lost only once in 15 matches and has never failed to reach the final, a feat Spurs last managed more than three decades ago – but his confidence is deflated by the quality on display on Sunday in the Carabao Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool, a match that persuaded the manager that winning domestic silverware in England has become even harder than doing so in Europe.

“I was lucky to reach the final in two years in a row, and I’d like to keep up this tradition,” Conte said.

“But this trophy is not easy. Tomorrow we have to face Middlesbrough, a tough game. You know very well they eliminated Manchester United from this competition. And I want to celebrate the game played by Chelsea and Liverpool. It was exciting to watch this game, it was [like] a final of the Champions League. It also underlines the difficulty of winning trophies in this country. It was fantastic sport. I think England has to be proud about this.


“To win a trophy now in England is very difficult. In this moment it’s easier to win in Europe than England, because you know in the end you have to fight against the top, top teams.

“We reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and in this moment I think it is a good result for Tottenham, and this has to push us, to try to become more competitive and lift a trophy as soon as possible.”

Tottenham have won their last two away games, against Manchester City and Leeds. The latter was a fifth defeat in six for the home side, leading to Marcelo Bielsa’s departure from Elland Road.

“I’m really disappointed, because we’re talking about an important manager and we’re talking about a person who is a master, for many managers, many coaches, in the past and in the present,” Conte said of the Argentinian.

“He is not only a manager with a great vision of football who taught a lot to other people, but at the same time I have great respect for him as a person, as a man, because in every situation he’s showed great integrity, and in football you cannot always find this type of person.”

– Guardian