Pochettino wants Spurs critics to stop obsessing about silverware
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino has told Tottenham's detractors to stop obsessing over their lack of silverware and start enjoying their performances.
Speaking before Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round at Rochdale, Pochettino said winning the competition would "change nothing" but he insisted Spurs would win a big trophy soon.
Pochettino's side has outplayed Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus in their past four top-level matches but any praise for Spurs is often caveated by their failure to win a trophy since the 2008 League Cup.
The wins over United and Arsenal and 2-2 draws at Liverpool and Juve suggest they have never been better-placed to end that drought -- which spans the three-and-a-half years since Pochettino's arrival -- but the Spurs manager said: "I understand that in football you don't have time.
"But our performances are so, so good. People say: 'Tottenham is playing well, is showing massive performances, but it is nothing if you don't win [trophies].' That is not true. It is not true.
"Football is about being able to enjoy. The people pay for their tickets to enjoy their team playing well. If you win the title, then fantastic, but it's about today and every day.
"Do we want to win trophies? Of course. We want to win trophies and celebrate with our fans. I am a positive person and, for sure, if it takes one year, two years or five years, we are going to win a big trophy one day."
Before this year, Spurs had never faced opponents outside the top two divisions in the first three rounds of the FA Cup and if they beat League One Rochdale and win the subsequent quarterfinal, they will play the semifinal at Wembley -- their home stadium for the season.
Despite a favourable hand, Pochettino is more focussed on the Premier League and Champions League than winning a first FA Cup since 1991.
Spurs' superb display in the 2-2 Champions League draw in Turin has somewhat vindicated the Argentine's position, and he said: "The Champions League changes everything, the perception [of Tottenham] in the world. The draw with Juventus is massive as it was seen around the world.
"It's the best competition in the world. To win some domestic titles is very good for us and would be fantastic for us and would be fantastic for our fans.
"But, really, nothing changes. Tottenham have a lot of fans today because we've drawn with Juventus. That is the truth. People have been calling me from Argentina and everywhere and saying, 'Wow, Tottenham, Tottenham, Tottenham.' Our fans were excited. Nearly 3,000 were there [in Turin] and that shows you about that competition."
Pochettino stressed that while Manchester City have the squad to challenge on four fronts, Spurs are still "building the foundation" to be in a similar position and he said he will only prioritise the FA Cup once they have guaranteed Champions League football for next season.
"There has been a lot of examples of coaches who win trophies like the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and yet six months after they were sacked," he said.
"You can maybe win the FA Cup or League Cup if you protect your best players for the FA Cup, but then forget the Premier League [title], forget being in the top four!
"If Tottenham is able to be consistent and get in the top four [this season], then maybe it's a moment to stop and focus on winning a title like the FA Cup. It would be fantastic to be able to put everything into this competition.
"For now, we need to think about winning big trophies like the Champions League. The pressure is to win the Champions League and also the Premier League.
"We are interested in winning some trophies to put on my CV!"
Pochettino also warned that Spurs must stay true to their principles once they have won silverware.
"If we keep our philosophy, our idea, then of course we can win many trophies. But success changes people," he added.
"Success creates crazy men! We'll see. I hope to see us win trophies and have the capacity to keep winning."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.