Mauricio Pochettino has once again dismissed the importance of winning trophies after Tottenham were knocked out of a second cup competition in four days.
Tottenham were beaten 2-0 by Crystal Palace in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, having lost on penalties to Chelsea in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup on Thursday.
It leaves the north London club facing the reality of an 11th straight season without silverware, as they are third in the Premier League and take on an excellent Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.
Pochettino, who has himself never won a trophy as a manager, has pre-empted another debate over their importance, and says they “only build your ego”. A Premier League rival agreed with him at the weekend.
“Again we’re going to have the debate whether a trophy will take the club to the next level,” he said.
“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.
“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.
“To arrive here in different condition, so you can fight or be stronger… Of course, it’s tougher to compete and win when things happened as they did.
“Sometimes when you assess football, you only look at which team won and which team lost, but you have to consider all the circumstances.
“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.”