Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham must focus on winning ‘big trophies’

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says his side must put the FA Cup on the back-burner and concentrate on Premier League and European glory.

Spurs face League One Rochdale on Sunday in the fifth round of the FA Cup following their comeback 2-2 draw against Juventus in the opening leg of their last-16 Champions League tie in Turin on Tuesday.

They have also recently beaten Manchester United and Arsenal in a nine-match unbeaten Premier League run, but the FA Cup appears to remain their best bet of ending a decade-long trophy drought.

Yet Pochettino believes Tottenham, starved of silverware since winning the 2008 League Cup and without an FA Cup success in nearly three decades, should be aiming higher than the world’s oldest club competition.

“I hear a lot about winning trophies and in the last 10 years there has been a lot of examples with coaches who win trophies like the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and yet six months after they were sacked,” Pochettino said.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has apologised to Rochdale over comments he made about the pitch at Spotland ahead of their FA Cup tie.

“You need to have your expectation to win the Champions League but you can’t arrive within four or five years and then win the Champions League.

“You can maybe win the FA Cup, League Cup, if you say, ‘OK, in five years we are going to win the FA Cup or League Cup’, then you protect your best player for the FA Cup, forget the Premier League, and forget being in the top four.

“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.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino confirmed Harry Kane sustained an ankle injury against Juventus and is a doubt to face Rochdale in the FA Cup.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t want to win the FA Cup or League Cup but in this process, to build a team to win or to get a winning mentality, is normal.

“It’s about finding the right balance and if Tottenham is able to be consistent, get in the top four then maybe it’s a moment to stop and focus on winning a title like the FA Cup and it would be fantastic to put everything in this competition.”

Pochettino is set to rest several players for the trip to Spotland with top-scorer Harry Kane due to undergo a fitness test on Saturday as he contends with a twisted ankle.

Kane’s likely absence could pave the way for Lucas Moura to make his first start for Tottenham following his January move from Paris Saint-Germain.