Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham will not be “realistic contenders” to win silverware this season if their current form continues.
Spurs face the daunting prospect of suffering a third successive defeat in all competitions when they face Inter Milan in their Champions League opener on Tuesday evening.
They reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League last season, losing 4-3 on aggregate against Juventus despite an impressive first leg comeback in Turin.
And to go one better this term, Pochettino believes his side can’t continue playing the way they currently are.
In his press conference on Monday – which you can watch here – the Tottenham boss was frank about his side’s chances of winning silverware.
“We are not realistic contenders in any single competition, that is my view,” Pochettino said (via the Independent).
“If we show the same face as against Watford, it is impossible to be a contender. If we show the face as against Liverpool, so difficult. In some periods of the game against Manchester United, maybe yes.
“I explained after Old Trafford, it was so difficult to keep the feet on the grass. We needed to work harder, be more competitive and improve.
“The last two defeats are so good if the effect is to wake up and improve.. We have time to improve, we are at the beginning of the season. We need to start to build again our best. And to start to show we deserve to be a contender at the end, we need to be consistent during the whole season.”
The Argentinian also provided a rather strange analogy to explain how Spurs must combine their European experience with hunger and motivation in order to compete in the Champions League this year.
He said: “Our experience is experience, but you need to apply the experience, plus the hunger, plus your own motivation, plus being clever and learning. If you are not clever this is only experience, it is not going to help you in the future.
“It’s like a cow that every single day, for 10 years, sees the train crossing in the front at the same time. And if you ask the cow ‘what time is the train going to come?’, it’s not going have the right answer. In football it’s the same.
“Experience, yes, of course. But hunger, motivation, circumstance, everything is so important. We talk too much that ‘the experience is going to help next season’. Yes of course, if you show the same hunger, the same motivation, if you fight in the same way. If only with experience, you don’t win games.”
Tottenham will be without Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli at the San Siro, while Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier have also been left at home.
Check out our predicted XI for the Inter game here.