Mauricio Pochettino wouldn't trade Spurs progress for Arsenal cup wins
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino has said he would not swap Tottenham Hotspur's progress for Arsenal's recent FA Cup victories.
The Spurs boss, who takes his side to face their North London rivals on Saturday, said he only cared about winning the Premier League and Champions League, calling them the "real trophies."
Tottenham have made huge strides since Pochettino's appointment in May 2014, but so far have no trophy to show for it.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup three times in the last four seasons, and suggestions that Pochettino has shifted the balance of power in North London have been countered by claims that he needs to win a trophy.
But he said he would not trade places with the Gunners and their FA Cups, telling a news conference: "No, no. Because Tottenham is Tottenham and Arsenal are in another stage of their project. I don't care where they are.
"After three-and-a-half years, we've achieved a lot. I would like to achieve more -- to be first and not second [in the league] and win cups, but we are in different process of our project.
"I admire what Arsene Wenger did at Arsenal, but we are at a different stage.
"For us, it is an important game, a derby, and more than three points.
"But it is important to keep doing well in a long process, important to improve every game and every season and say we can win not only [other] cups but the Premier League and the Champions League.
"That is pressure we are building. The pressure to win only cups is not useful for us. If we can win the FA Cup or Carabao Cup, fantastic.
"But the principal option is to win the Premier League and put Tottenham in position to win the Champions League. This type of trophy is the real trophies."
Pochettino is the only Spurs manager yet to lose a Premier League game to Wenger, who is preparing for his 43rd league meeting with them.
But he has yet to win at the Emirates after three 1-1 draws, part of a pattern away from home at top-six rivals where he has drawn two games and lost four since the start of last season.
However, he said that was another hurdle to be overcome after the landmark Wembley wins over Real Madrid and Liverpool.
"Of course it is important, but it is the same question before Real Madrid -- it was important to win at the Bernabeu," he said. "OK, we drew. To beat Liverpool, because we never beat Liverpool. Then to beat Real Madrid... And again [against] Crystal Palace and now Arsenal.
"It is a massive game for us but we must assess the team over a long period. After three-and-a-half years we are here and have team that can compete with Real Madrid."
As part of his preparation for the match, Pochettino had dinner with Spurs legends Glenn Hoddle, Steve Perryman and Graham Roberts on Thursday.
He said: "We want to build something special but keep identity -- who better than them to translate how Tottenham was, is and can be?"
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.