Tottenham fans 'deserve much more', believes Stellini after FA Cup exit to Sheffield United
Cristian Stellini believes Tottenham's fans "deserve much more" than what the team offered in their shock FA Cup fifth-round exit to Sheffield United.
The Premier League side crashed out with a 1-0 defeat in the last-16 tie with their Championship opponents thanks to Iliman Ndiaye's late strike.
Defeat means Spurs, who are still without boss Antonio Conte as he continues to recover from surgery, remain only in serious contention for the Champions League.
Stellini felt his side did not deserve to win at Bramall Lane on Wednesday, and suggested they had led their supporters down.
"If you don't win a game like this, it's because something was not perfect," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Today, our energy was not enough to put the opponent in great difficulty.
"We had opportunities to score, but now we have to analyse the goal we conceded. In the moment, if you concede a goal, you need time to recover.
"There was more energy from the changes [we made], but we have to improve a lot. I can only apologise to the fans for our performance. They deserve much more than this."
Sheffield meanwhile have been rewarded with an all-Championship clash with Blackburn Rovers.
In reaching their third last-eight appearance in the past four seasons, manager Paul Heckingbottom suggested his side would use their cup campaign as a release from their bid to secure promotion.
"We have a lot of games now," he said. "This competition is parked now, and it is onto the league. The Championship is what we are fighting for, but we do try to enjoy the FA Cup just as much."