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Tanguy Ndombele booed during Tottenham FA Cup win over Morecambe, Antonio Conte urges midfielder to 'change opinion'

Tanguy Ndombele's future at Tottenham looks up in the air after he was booed by his own fans during the 3-1 FA Cup win over Morecambe; Ndombele joined Spurs in a £55m deal in the summer of 2019 but has not been a regular starter

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Antonio Conte admits his Tottenham side were struggling in their FA Cup tie against League One Morecambe, which is why he had to call on players like Harry Kane and Lucas Moura from the bench

Antonio Conte suggested Tanguy Ndombele needs to improve on the pitch to get Tottenham fans back on side after the midfielder was loudly booed during the FA Cup third-round win over Morecambe.

Ndombele has struggled to make an impact since joining Spurs in a £55m deal in the summer of 2019.

He was handed a starting spot against League One strugglers Morecambe but again failed to impress and was part of a triple change made by Spurs boss Conte on the hour mark with his side trailing 1-0.

Ndombele incurred the wrath of the crowd by showing no urgency to get off the pitch, slowly walking off from the other side and then heading straight down the tunnel as he was being booed.

Asked about the crowd reaction to Ndombele after Spurs eventually won 3-1, Conte said: "I was so focused on the game because we were losing 1-0. This type of situation, they are in football.

"You have to be good to try to change your opinion. If someone is disappointed with you. It's normal.

"I was a player and it happened sometimes to me that someone was unhappy with my performance. This is our life. I repeat, it's OK. We have to continue to work and try to be better next time.

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"We have to know very well that if we perform well, the fans are happy. If you don't perform well, the fans are not happy. This is football. If we think the fans have to be happy any time, if you win or lose, I think that's not right.

"Me, for sure, when I don't win, I'm not happy, I am upset and I think that is OK."

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Conte was also asked if he was disappointed in Ndombele's slow trudge off the pitch, but chose instead to speak about his reasoning for the substitution.

He said: "I think during the game, you have to try the best solution to find something, especially if I'm seeing we're losing 1-0 and then you have to try to change something, especially when you have on the bench players at the top level.

"In this case, I decided to give a bit of rest to Harry (Kane) and also Lucas (Moura). At one point, when I've seen the situation we should change the situation, for sure.

"When you have this type of player on the bench, for sure, the expectation is to change the game.

Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his side's third goal (AP)
Image: Kane celebrates after scoring Tottenham's third goal against Morecambe

"It's not only for this game, it's our life, the normal life of the coach. If the team is playing and then on the bench you turn your head and you can see top players then you change the game."

Having fallen behind after 33 minutes, Spurs needed a late show to book their place in the fourth round.

Goals from Harry Winks and substitutes Lucas Moura and Harry Kane earned them the victory.

"For a big part of the game we struggled," said Conte.

"We had to score and had the opportunity to score very soon. Then when you concede a goal in a set-piece, for sure, the mood and your opponent start to feel that they can beat you.

"We always struggled to be creative and in the end we have to be disappointed because we can do much better."

Conte also revealed Eric Dier missed out with a minor injury and Sergio Reguilon was rested.

Spurs face a home match against Brighton in the fourth round.

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