Mauricio Pochettino: I don't need to win trophies with Tottenham
LONDON -- Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino has rubbished the suggestion that he does not care about the FA Cup but insists he does not need to win silverware this season.
Pochettino has previously described the Premier League and the Champions League as the "real trophies" and said that winning a domestic cup in England is too dependent on luck.
The Spurs manager will rotate his starting XI for Wednesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Newport County following the 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Sunday, but he urged supporters to trust his judgement, insisting he is the first person who wants to win the competition.
"None of the players will knock on the door and say, 'Gaffer, I'm tired!' That's never happened in real life. They're always ready to compete and play if you ask them," Pochettino told a news conference.
"But it's up to us to discover the truth. That's what the squad is so important in England. Over four competitions during the season, you need to rotate and give rest and provide the squad the possibilities to play.
"We'll play Wednesday now and then Saturday morning [against Arsenal]. It's so difficult for some players to be ready again to compete. You need to manage. The people and the fans need to trust in our decision. We're the first people interested in winning.
"You know what happens when we don't win. The first to go home is this guy," added Pochettino, gesturing to himself. "The second is this guy next to me [assistant manager Jesus Perez].
"The manager and coaching staff always take the best decisions to win. That's why we laugh when you say it looks like we don't want to win titles, games. If not, we are silly people, we are managing this kind of company and we don't understand anything about football!"
But asked if he needed to win a trophy this season, Pochettino said: "No. I don't feel that. Of course, we want to win [trophies]. I won as a player and I know how you feel after winning. Of course, our intention and desire is to win.
"But I'm not obsessing: win, win, win, win! Of course, we want to win but to arrive to win we need to create a winning mentality around the players, around the team. For that, you need time. You never know if it's one year, two year, five years. I only know we're in a good way, waiting for the stadium. It'll be amazing for us, for the fans, for the club, for everything. That will give us the facilities to work. Tottenham in the next few years will be one of the contenders to win trophies."
Wayne Rooney has said that Harry Kane, who became the first Spurs player to reach 100 Premier League goals, may want to leave the club if Spurs do not start winning trophies and Pochettino said: "That is a question for him, not for me. Harry is so happy here. He loves Tottenham, but this is a personal question, how he things, how he feels, and I cannot answer for him."
Toby Alderweireld is expected feature against Newport for the first time since Nov. 1 after a hamstring problem, while Danny Rose (knee) and Harry Winks (ankle) are should start having been sidelined since Boxing Day.
Victor Wanyama, Erik Lamela and Fernando Llorente, successful substitutes in the draw at Anfield, are also in line for starts, along with Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth and Serge Aurier.
Kane has scored in the last two FA Cup matches, including the 1-1 draw at Newport last month, and Pochettino refused to rule out another appearance for the England forward.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.