London (AFP) – Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are victims of their own success as they scramble to finish in the top four of the Premier League ahead of deposed champions Chelsea.
Fourth-placed Spurs, who host Watford on Monday, have stumbled in the league in recent weeks and crashed to their eighth successive FA Cup semi-final defeat against Manchester United last week.
But Pochettino, targeting Champions League qualification for a third straight year, said his approach would not change as he strives to take the club to the next level and win silverware after a barren decade.
Spurs are two points clear of Chelsea, with four games remaining. Antonio Conte’s side, who have won three successive league matches, have three games left.
“Tottenham needed when we arrived here to have a clear idea about discipline, rules, principles, a project to develop, to use young players, and that was how we created this project all together,” he said.
“Whether it is me or another, that is the right project to keep pushing, don’t be disappointed if we still don’t win a trophy, the expectation always is massive.
“We are victims of our own success because we are ahead in our project. I remind you that in my first meeting with (chairman) Daniel Levy and (owner) Joe Lewis, the target was to arrive in the new stadium in four years and to create a team to have the possibility to fight for the top four and the second year to play Champions League.”
Pochettino, whose club will move into their new stadium next season, raised eyebrows following the defeat to Jose Mourinho’s United by saying the project at Spurs will go on “with me or another”.
The Argentine still has three years to run on his contract and was coy about whether a new deal is in the offing.
“Am I going to sign? It’s a question for Daniel,” he said. “I am not (Arsene) Wenger or (Alex) Ferguson who decides about their own future. I decide only about the starting XI in this football club. That is up to Daniel, does he want to offer or not?
“I am a person who is never going to ask to improve my salary or extend my contract or anything like this.”