Danny Murphy claims that he did not see Tottenham boss Antonio Conte show his faith in Dane Scarlett during the FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough.
The Championship side dumped Spurs out of the cup to achieve another major upset following their win over Manchester United. Indeed, Boro have now beaten two Premier League sides to reach the quarter-finals.
Both sides had chances at the Riverside Stadium, but neither could find a winner before extra time.
As a result, it fell to 19-year-old Josh Coburn to net the winner after 107 minutes of play. Spurs boss Conte responded by throwing on his own youngster Scarlett after 115 minutes.
Conte insisted in his pre-match press conference that the 17-year-old is “for sure the best prospect from the academy”.
Pundit Murphy subsequently criticised Conte for not getting the youngster on earlier if he rated the teenager that highly.
Murphy said when told of Conte’s comments: “Well, he should have put him on earlier then. If he has got that much belief in him.
“Give him the opportunity because they have been way off it.”
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Spurs thought they had taken the lead when Harry Kane netted. However, the England captain had his goal ruled out for offside.
Boro also came close, Matt Crooks powering a free header from a corner over the bar.
In the end, though, it was the Championship hosts who progressed into the fifth round. Manchester City and Crystal Palace also reached the quarter-finals on Tuesday with respective wins over Peterborough and Stoke.
Alan Shearer added on Tottenham’s performance: “This was no fluke, Boro were the better team from start to finish.
“Chris Wilder can be so proud of his team. The crowd were up for it, the players were up for it. Spurs were so flaky, typical Tottenham.”
Premier League now Tottenham, Conte focus
Spurs fancied their chances of progressing as they look to end their trophy drought under Conte’s stewardship.
However, their wait for silverware now looks likely to stretch into another season. Indeed, Tottenham’s sole priority now is finishing with a top-four Premier League finish.
Spurs sit seventh, five points behind fourth-placed Man Utd as it stands.
Tottenham return to action next Monday when facing Everton and then a crunch clash with United at Old Trafford awaits.
For Boro, though, they will fancy a third Premier League scalp as they look forward to the FA Cup quarter-final draw.