Reports: Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham Hotspur's focus should be on top four & not trophies
What's the story?
Amid two cup exits in the past week, Tottenham Hotspur boss, Mauricio Pochettino, has defended his side's title-less run so far, insisting that winning trophies only builds ego, and the team should focus on finishing in the Premier League top four instead.
In case you didn't know...
Tottenham's season appears to be crashing down after Harry Kane and Dele Alli both sustained major injuries, while Heung-min Son has been away from the squad to fulfil his international duties.
Pochettino's men crashed out of the Carabao Cup after losing on penalties to West London outfit Chelsea. This was followed by a below average performance against 14th placed Premier League side Crystal Palace, leading to their exit from the FA Cup.
Nevertheless, Spurs still have a Champions League game against Bundesliga giants, Borussia Dortmund, and more importantly (as the manager stresses) a top-four battle in the Premier League.
The heart of the matter
Despite a difficult week, Pochettino remains focused about his side's main goal, which is to finish in the top four, and has maintained that trophies do nothing to take a team to the next level.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Argentine boss said,
"Again we're going to have the debate whether a trophy will take the club to the next level. I don't agree with it. It only builds your ego. The most important thing for Tottenham right now is to always be in the top four"
"It's true, this season has been tough. I told you it would be a massive challenge for us, but we believe it'll be a tough season but no tougher than it's been."
"Of course, disappointed because, after Thursday and today again, out of two competitions. You feel disappointed. You can't feel anything different."
"But now we have to be positive. We are still in two competitions, in a good position in the Premier League and the Champions League is a massive motivation for the whole club. We have to be strong."
"People wish we could win some trophies. But being realistic, we are doing so well. To win a title here in England like the FA Cup or Carabao Cup is about being lucky, not only about quality in your squad."
Pochettino added that his side's realistic targets would be trying to finish close to Liverpool & Manchester City, and to beat Dortmund in the Champions League.
"Now the realistic targets are trying to be in the top four, try and be close to Manchester City and Liverpool and reduce the gap."
"To be a contender is always difficult for us. [Top four] is realistic. Another is to try and beat [Borussia] Dortmund and be in the next round. That is tough."
Third-placed Spurs will return to Premier League action in midweek where they will face Watford.