Mauricio Pochettino has asked to be given time to turn Tottenham into a trophy-winning side ahead of their Europa League second leg against Gent.
The Argentinian has turned Spurs into a force to be reckoned with at the top end of the Premier League since leaving Southampton to take the reins at White Hart Lane, but Tottenham have not won a major honour since 2008 and trail Gent 1-0 at the halfway stage of their last-32 tie.
Pochettino, though, is confident that Spurs remain a work in progress and that he can deliver the silverware to match the club’s undoubted potential.
“We cannot buy time, that is the most important thing for us,” he told a pre-match news conference. “It’s too easy to say we want to win titles and move the club to the next level.
“It takes time to create the new stadium and it takes time to create [a team] to win trophies. We are in that process to try to build a really very good squad to try to fight with the big sides to win titles.
“In a short period you cannot do it – only if you have money enough to buy the best players in the world. Then you maybe don’t need much time, but the process we are in, and our philosophy, we need time.
“We are showing a good basis, but now it’s time to develop the winning mentality. It is the hardest job to win titles. You can win games, but to win titles, the Premier League, is another step.
“It is the harder job to try to move on the club. To win titles you need to show all that and more quality too.”
And Pochettino added that the process of moving to a new stadium, being built on the site of White Hart Lane, would temporarily slow Tottenham’s progress before allowing them to compete in the long term.
“We are building a new stadium,” he said. “That process always is a tough period for every club. Then the club has the tools to try to fight with the big sides in the Champions League.
“We finished, maybe three or four years ago, our training ground and it is fantastic, one of the best in the world. We are building a new stadium and we believe that will be one of the best and the team is in the same process.
“We started three years ago and we are trying to build a new team and a new mentality and a new philosophy, and we are in that process. It is [important] to be patient.
“I hope I can see that process and that patience and success. That is my aim and my big challenge at Tottenham.”
Star forward Harry Kane, speaking alongside his manager, was keen to stress that it would not be a disaster if Spurs failed to deliver silverware this season.
“Of course we want to win a trophy,” he added. “But I don’t think it will be the be-all or end-all if we don’t.”
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