‘Top-4, not trophies, the most important thing’

Mauricio Pochettino during Tottenham vs Barcelona


Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has tonight leapt to the defence of his side, following the North Londoners’ exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace 2-0 Tottenham

Spurs travelled to Selhurst Park for a 4th-round meeting with their capital rivals earlier this evening, desperate for a bounce-back result.

Pochettino’s men fell to a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Thursday night, a loss which saw Tottenham ousted from the League Cup.

As such, with the Londoners having also fallen to a potentially-crucial 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester United two weeks ago, and seen both Harry Kane and Dele Alli ruled out until March with respective injury problems, a win tonight would have provided some much-needed respite for Spurs.

In the end, when all was said and done at Selhurst, though, respite was not forthcoming for the away side.

Palace took an early lead inside the game’s opening 10 minutes, courtesy of the returning Connor Wickham:

And former Tottenham man Andros Townsend added to the woes of the visitors from the penalty-spot 25 minutes later, after a moment of madness on the part of Kyle Walker-Peters:

A missed Kieran Trippier penalty on the stroke of half-time summed up Spurs’ evening, with a goalless second-half having eventually seen hosts Palace emerge with a 2-goal win.

‘Only builds your ego’

Speaking in his past-match press conference tonight, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was unsurprisingly drawn on his side’s continued frustration in their hunt for silverware, after the North Londoners’ 2 most realistic chances at clinching a trophy this season were dashed in the space of 3 days.

However, the Argentine tactician was quick to warn against an overreaction to Spurs’ latest League and FA Cup exits, insisting that, though silverware remains a target, ‘the most important thing’ for his side at this moment in time is securing a place in the Premier League’s top-4:

‘People wish that in the end we win some trophies, but realistically we are doing so well. To win a title here in England like the FA Cup or Carabao Cup is to have luck as well as quality in your squad.’

‘Again we’re going to have the debate whether a trophy will take the club to the next level. I don’t agree with it. It only builds your ego. The most important thing for Tottenham right now is to always be in the top four.’

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