Mauricio Pochettino dodged the chance to categorically confirm that he will still be in charge at Tottenham next season.
The Argentine raised doubts over his future following Spurs’ disappointing FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United when he told beIN SPORTS: “I told your colleague before that with me or another coaching staff the club needs to push on, working in this direction and will be fantastic one day for Tottenham to reach the same level as the clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City. But it’ll be a long way to work to arrive at this next level.”
Pochettino has in the past been linked as a potential successor to Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, while there are suggestions that he is in the frame to take the vacancy that will be left by Unai Emery at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, although Thomas Tuchel remains the favourite.
The 46-year-old was asked if he will lead Spurs into their new stadium at White Hart Lane next season, but seemingly chose to deflect the question by talking in more generic terms over the direction of the club’s project.
“After the disappointment of the result against Manchester United, I was very honest to tell you that we create a philosophy and a project for the long term and trying to be different to other clubs,” he said.
“I wanted to say [with comments after the FA Cup defeat] that the club is not going to change.
“If I stay here for three years more, after three years the project will not change. The most important thing now is that project we need to keep pushing.
“And, of course, we are frustrated about bad results. But we cannot change because the club cannot change.
“It cannot go ‘okay that is the project in Tottenham and now we are going to do the same that Manchester United are doing now’.
“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.
“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.”
Pochettino did, though, suggest that his contract at Spurs means discussions on his future are immaterial, adding: “I still have three years contract here, so there’s no point to talk about that.”
The former Southampton boss believes that Spurs are “victims of our success” and that the club are ahead of where they planned to be at this stage under his leadership.
“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,” he said.
“We are victims of our success because we are ahead in the project.”