Pochettino defends Tottenham record, says winning trophies would build egos

Mauricio Pochettino has defended his Tottenham record after crashing out of two cup competitions in a week and said winning silverware only serves to build egos.

Tottenham were defeated by Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup semifinals before losing to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fourth round.

Pochettino made seven changes to his side that lost to Chelsea and after the 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park, said Spurs' development is not measured by what they win.

"We are going to create a debate that to win a trophy is going to help the club," he said. "I don't agree with that. That only builds your ego. In reality the most important thing is being consistently in the top four and playing in the Champions League. That is going to help the club to achieve the last step.

"The club is doing fantastically well. It's so successful. In the last four or five years we've been fighting in different ways to achieve what the club needs, to be in the level of Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal or Liverpool. People wish we could win some trophies. But, being realistic, we are a team not built to win titles still."

Tottenham are third in the Premier League and face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16 but a downturn in form has coincided with the loss of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to injury.

Pochettino's men face Watford next, with Son Heung-Min available earlier than expected after South Korea were knocked out of the Asian Cup by Qatar.

"It's true, this season has been tough," Pochettino said.

"But to be a contender is always difficult for us. Now the realistic targets are trying to be in the top four, to try and be close to Manchester City and Liverpool and reduce the gap. Another is to try to beat Dortmund and be in the next round.

"That will be tough. We are competing against a team who are doing fantastically well in Germany, who are top of the table and have come back off their [midseason] holidays. They are all fresh and we are the opposite. But we have to be positive. We are still in two competitions, in a good position in the Premier League and the Champions League, which is a massive motivation for the club. We have to be strong."