Mauricio Pochettino insists this season will have been a success for Tottenham regardless of whether they end it by winning a trophy.
Spurs play Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday as they look to take one step closer to their first major title since Ledley King lifted the League Cup in 2008.
The victor will also gain a psychological boost in the Premier League title race, where Tottenham have cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to four points following a superb run of form.
Seven victories on the bounce have all-but secured them Champions League qualification in the league, with Spurs amassing 71 points, one better than last season’s total, with six games still left to play.
All that is left is for Pochettino’s men to mark their progress with some silverware but the Argentinian insists expectations should not rise too high too soon.
“Here is a massive success,” Pochettino said.
“Yes, you can win titles. But with which teams? It is normal to win titles with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, maybe Juventus, Porto in Portugal.
“With a big team, you are already very close to winning. Look at Barcelona with Pep (Guardiola), with Tito Vilanova, with (Frank) Rijkaard, with Luis Enrique. All different managers but with the same group of players and they were successful.
“Success for me is to finish in the top four like last season. It was a big success for Tottenham and means maybe more than winning one title with Barcelona.
“I dream of lifting trophies but the way I did with Espanyol, two Copa del Reys with Espanyol, that is why I admire Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. It is so difficult to win with Atletico Madrid. He deserves more credit maybe than some others.”
Tottenham’s progress has been all the more impressive given the financial constraints caused by the club’s new stadium, which is due to open for the 2018-19 season and is costing around £800million.
Pochettino says the team’s progress on the pitch is ahead of schedule and any success achieved before the new White Hart Lane is completed would come as a bonus.
“I think the process when we started three years ago, was the club creating new facilities, a new stadium, that was the plan and the team was here too,” Pochettino said.
“But it’s true that the step was massive from the team, while the club is still growing up, but not in the same pace. And now maybe we need to wait a little bit for the club to arrive – to finish the new stadium, to move from Wembley to White Hart Lane again.
“And that moment will be the moment to push and try to win. But, if this season we can win, or next season we can win some titles, it’s welcome.”
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