Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says the club’s project is ahead of schedule, suggesting Spurs are “victims of our own success”.
Champions League qualification is in Tottenham’s hands for a third successive season – they can strengthen their hold on fourth place with a win against Watford at Wembley on Monday night.
However, Spurs are yet to win a trophy since Pochettino arrived from Southampton in the summer of 2014.
Back-to-back title challenges have raised expectations for the Londoners, and questions marks were raised over Tottenham’s ability to compete at the highest level following the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.
But Pochettino insists Spurs’ project is ahead of schedule, revealing what was expected of him when he was first appointed manager.
“We are victims of our own success because we are ahead in our project,” he said (via Sky Sports).
“I remind you that in my first meeting with [chairman] Daniel [Levy] and [owner] Joe Lewis, the target was to arrive in the new stadium in four years and to create a team to have the possibility to fight for the top four and the second year (in the new stadium) to play Champions League.
“When we arrived here, Tottenham needed to have a clear idea about discipline, rules, principles, a project to develop, to use young players and that was how we created this project all together.”
Tottenham will play homes games at their new White Hart Lane-based stadium next season, but Pochettino has suggested the change of venue won’t immediately alter the club’s stature for the better.
“It’s a new era because we are going to move to a different venue to play and you have to manage and know exactly the expectations because it’s suddenly not going to change everything and millions of pounds will rain from the sky,” he said.
“It’s important to review and to set the principles again and how it will be with the team once we move.
“I accept and I know that the other teams will keep doing what they are doing already, but every season we have to reassess and instil new basics because you have to keep dreaming. You have to dream to play big and win, and then just try.
“Maybe you don’t reach the level of the others, but you have to reassess every year and to review the basics of your team and keep dreaming.”
Keeping hold of Pochettino is a must for Spurs. Despite the lack of silverware under his management, the Argentinian has kept Tottenham ahead of schedule – that shouldn’t be ignored.