Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham still need time to win trophies, 'with me or another'
LONDON -- A maudlin Mauricio Pochettino said his Tottenham team are close enough to touch success after defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal but he admitted they need more time "with me or another" to get there.
Spurs extended their record of consecutive FA Cup semifinal defeats to eight with a 2-1 reverse at Wembley Stadium after United came from behind to win through goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera.
The Londoners led through Dele Alli on the night but their trophy drought will now extend beyond a decade -- their last piece of silverware was the 2008 League Cup -- and they have not won the FA Cup since 1991.
"We are building a very good team, about trying to create the winning mentality, but it is still at the moment not enough," the Spurs manager said afterwards.
"But I think Tottenham need to keep going in this direction. To create that winning mentality is not about a few years. Tottenham need more time, of course with me or another.
"It's so important to keep going, focusing on working and developing that philosophy which is fantastic for the club.
"Of course, we are in a process to arrive to the semifinal and be competitive in the Champions League and competitive in the Premier League, fighting for the top four. I think it's not enough because everyone feels that we are close, we are close, we are close. It's nearly [close enough] to touch."
Spurs remain five points clear of fifth-place with four league games to play and Pochettino urged his team to keep going and guarantee Champions League football for their new stadium next season.
"The most important thing now is to finish in the top four, play again in the Champions League for the club. We are building the new stadium. We played the whole season at Wembley which you know is very difficult to play.
"That is stress that is not only for the team, but for the fans. It was the most difficult when we started the season. But for me it is to keep going. I am disappointed, sometimes after the defeat when finished the game very frustrated but then [clicks fingers] quick I move on.
"Thinking about trying to finish the season in the best way, four games ahead and we need to be sure to play Champions League. Sure it will be a very successful season if we are able to keep our position in the table."
Pochettino stuck with back-up goalkeeper Michel Vorm ahead of goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris against United and the Dutchman was arguably at fault for Herrera's low winner.
But the Argentine, who also left experienced centre-back Toby Alderweireld on the bench, refused to blame selection or individuals for the defeat.
"For me, it's not about the names or who is going to play. It's about the team. Last season we play the semi-final and we lost 4-2 to Chelsea with Hugo, or the final of the league cup and we lost 2-0.
"Today we lost 2-1 to Manchester United and we should have won. For me it is about the team. Michel Vorm today deserved to play and I am so happy because I thought he was good. It is not about one players or 11 players or playing a different 11 players. I think it's not like this.
"I am happy with the performance and the effort, it was an even game, in my head a little bit more for us. We were close but not enough to win."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.