Jose Mourinho has claimed the ball used in Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough was like a ‘beach ball’ but insisted that wasn’t the reason why his team didn’t go on to win.
Spurs had to come from behind to secure a third-round replay in the FA Cup after Lucas Moura’s header cancelled out Ashley Fletcher’s opener at the Riverside on Sunday.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho made the bizarre gripe about the match ball, which saw his Spurs side struggle to maintain possession and assert any dominance over their Championship opponents.
‘I think this ball is [a] beach ball. It’s too light. I don’t think it helps the players. But that’s not an excuse,’ he told BT Sport.
The £115 Mitre match ball is used in all FA Cup fixtures this season and has been designed to ‘manipulate airflow for pin-point accuracy and superior speed’.
Named the ‘Delta Max’, the ball has been engineered with ‘Hyperseam technology’ for almost zero water uptake’, which reportedly performs in any weather conditions.
While Mourinho feels the technology used to create the ball went against his side, he also hit out at the fact that VAR wasn’t in use at the Riverside either.
During the game, Mourinho was booked by Mike Dean for entering the opposite technical area, something the 56-year-old described as ‘fair’.
After the game, Mourinho said: ‘I think the yellow card is fair because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot.’
Spurs looked disjointed up top leading up to Middlesbrough’s goal, which prompted Mourinho to bring on Giovanni Lo Celso and Erik Lamela to add a different dimension in attack.
The double change on the 56th minute went on to pay off for the visitors who scored five minutes later.
Spurs will now host Jonathan Woodgate’s Middlesbrough side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a replay on January 14.