Mauricio Pochettino questions Tottenham's readiness to win a trophy
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 25/02/17 10:58pm
Tottenham are building slowly and may not yet be ready to push for silverware, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
At the start of the month Spurs were still in the hunt on three fronts this season but slip-ups in the Premier League and defeat to Gent in the Europa League mean they are now realistically down to one.
It means Pochettino's men may be left chasing a place in the top four again, a scrap that resumes on Sunday at home to ninth-placed Stoke on Nissan Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD.
A second consecutive season in the Champions League would be a considerable achievement - one Tottenham have never achieved before - but there is a sense Pochettino, and his talented group of players, need more.
"I think that we have pushed the expectation higher but that is normal because last season we were there - second, third in the league and that is good," the Argentine said.
"But my question is maybe we are not ready. It's like the stadium, if we want to move today we are not ready to play there. We need to wait, build the foundations. It's a problem always - to be patient, to arrive.
"But the important thing is the club. Our chairman has built the foundation. New facilities on the training ground, new stadium to provide and to be a better team, better club, bigger club.
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"We're on the way to build one of the best clubs in Europe. But now we must be patient.
"We have patience to build and try to work hard and try to find the players that we can add to achieve that. Work hard and be clever; that is very important."
Tottenham cannot compete with the likes of Chelsea and the Manchester clubs in the transfer market and their spending power has been restricted further while their new stadium is being built.
But Pochettino has relied heavily on the same core of players this season, with Victor Wanyama the only signing from last summer to have made a positive impression.
By contrast, Vincent Janssen, Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou have all struggled.
"Always football is about quality. And being clever," Pochettino added.
"But it's true. It's always about improving. We must add quality to the team if we want to fight for big things. And we will try, like always in football.
"Now is not the moment to start to talk. I think as always it's our job as a club to find the right profile and player that can play for us."
At this stage last year, Tottenham were chasing Leicester for the title and Pochettino expressed sympathy for Claudio Ranieri, sacked as Foxes boss on Thursday, nine months after winning the league.
"I feel very disappointed, very sad for him," Pochettino said.
"One month ago he was nominated as FIFA's best manager in the world and today he is sacked. How is football?
"It's unbelievable. That is football. It's too difficult to explain. One month ago he was the best manager in the world. How is it possible that today he is not anymore there?"