Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks revealed that “harsh words” were needed at half-time following Morecambe’s opener in the FA Cup third-round tie.
Spurs had to come from behind at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to reach the fourth round on Sunday. While both sides had chances in an open first half, it was the League One visitors who took a shock lead.
Indeed, Anthony O’Connor opened the scoring with a volley from a corner after 33 minutes.
As such, Tottenham boss Antonio Conte brought on Harry Kane and Lucas Moura. The pair combined to both score a goal and subsequently turn the game on its head.
Nevertheless, Spurs looked shaky defensively in the first half. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Winks insisted that despite the eventual win, the hosts were not good enough.
“It wasn’t a good enough performance. We were sloppy at times, we didn’t play sharp enough, with enough aggression, enough intensity,” the English midfielder said.
“I think everyone could have upped their game by a lot and at half-time there was a lot of harsh words and honest words said.
“We weren’t good enough, we know that. These are the types of games where, in the first 15 minutes you need to settle everybody, score early and then hopefully it can be an enjoyable afternoon.
“We made it from an enjoyable afternoon into a tough afternoon and we shouldn’t have done that.”
In between Morecambe’s opener and Kane and Moura’s goals, though, Winks netted a fine free-kick.
Taken from the left, he arced the ball right across the box and it looped over Morecambe goalkeeper Trevor Carson and into the right-hand corner.
Insisting that he meant the effort, he said: “My thought process was just to aim for the far corner and if I underhit it or I connect to it as well as I want then someone will get a head on it.
“Whatever happens, it will go in.”
Tottenham will face Brighton in the fourth round.
Conte echoes Winks, Tottenham comments
Speaking in his post-match interview, Conte slammed his side’s performance.
He said: “For a big part of the game we struggled. 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.”