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Trophies only 'build ego', top four is the bigger achievement: Tottenham boss Pochettino


Mauricio Pochettino says Spurs still have plenty to fight for this season after their FA Cup exit.

Mauricio Pochettino says Spurs still have plenty to fight for this season after their FA Cup exit.

Mauricio Pochettino says Spurs still have plenty to fight for this season after their FA Cup exit.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has sparked a debate after claiming trophy success is not as significant as securing a top four finish in the Premier League and arguing silverware 'only builds your ego'.

Pochettino was speaking after his depleted Tottenham side went out of the FA Cup after a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday, with that loss coming just three days after his side crashed out of the Carabao Cup after a semi-final defeat at Chelsea.

The double setback has severely dented Pochettino's hopes of winning a first trophy in his management career, yet it was his comments after the game at Selhurst Park that have raised a few eyebrows.

Clearly stating his belief that winning trophies is not a gauge for success, he insisted a fourth successive top four finish in the Premier League would be more significant for his club.

"We are going to create a debate that to win a trophy is going to help the club," he stated. "I don't agree with that. That only builds your ego. In reality the most important thing is being consistently in the top four and playing in the Champions League. That is going to help the club to achieve the last step.

"The club is doing fantastically well. It's so successful. In the last four or five years we've been fighting in different ways to achieve what the club needs, to be in the level of Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal or Liverpool. People wish we could win some trophies. But, being realistic, we are a team not built to win titles still.

"For us to be a contender is always difficult. Now the realistic targets are trying to be in the top four, to try and be close to Manchester City and Liverpool and reduce the gap. Another is to try to beat Borussia Dortmund and be in the next round (of the Champions League).

"That will be tough. We are competing against a team who are doing fantastically well in Germany, who are top of the table and have come back off their winter break. They are all fresh and we are the opposite, but we have to be positive. We are still in two competitions, in a good position in the Premier League and the Champions League, which is a massive motivation for the club. We have to be strong."

The comments contrast with Jose Mourinho's assertion that trophies is the best way to judge a manager, as he offered up these comments earlier this month when he was asked whether Pochettino was right to claim trophy success is not career-defining.

"I'm not saying he (Pochettino) is wrong, but he thinks different from me," former Manchester United manager Mourinho told beIN Sport. "He thinks different than me or maybe the day he starts winning trophies he changes his communication.

"I like him very much as a person and a coach, I am not being critical of him, but you ask me if trophies are the mark of success or top four finishes? Trophies every time, trophies every time."