Mauricio Pochettino believes winning trophies would not have saved him from the sack as Tottenham manager if the club were not competing at the top end of the Premier League.
Pochettino has turned Spurs into one of the top clubs in England, challenging for the league title and progressing in the Champions League, but is regularly criticised for failing to win any silverware.
The Argentinian has always insisted that winning a cup competition like the FA Cup or the Carabao Cup does not put the club at the level he wants to take them to.
The clamour for Spurs to win has always been more frantic from outside the club and Pochettino is more concerned about how the club perform in the league and Champions League.
And that was again his message as Spurs kick-off their FA Cup campaign with a visit to League Two Tranmere on Friday night.
“My ambition is to win the Champions League one day with Tottenham or the Premier League,” he said.
“Sometimes the people take it wrong, my words. ‘Oh the manager doesn’t want to win the FA Cup or disrespects the competition the Carabao Cup or FA Cup’.
“No, no, no, no, no. It is the opposite. I respect a lot.
“But my ambition is to win the Champions League one day or the Premier League.
“To win the Carabao Cup and be in the middle of the table in the Premier League I think today we are not talking how we are talking here. I think I was sacked a few years ago. With two or three Carabao Cups or FA Cups.
“If you don’t finish how we have finished in the last three seasons and (win) the FA Cup, I don’t know if Daniel (Levy, chairman) would have too much patience with me or is very nice to say, ‘OK you’re 10th in the Premier League’ and give you a new contract.”
Pochettino was happy to reel off a list of clubs who have won trophies in the last few years but are now struggling in the league.
“I think the people want trophies and (think) that it means you are very successful,” he added.
“Of course, many in some projects, in some clubs, if you don’t win a trophy, you fail. But in our project at Tottenham we are completely different – if you say if you don’t win a trophy, it’s a failure … we have bigger things than to focus only to win a trophy.
“But that doesn’t mean that we are not focused on trying to win against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup or in the FA Cup. But you need a lot of coincidences to win sometimes.
“There are a lot of examples. Swansea won the Carabao Cup when we arrived to Southampton and today they are in the second division. Wigan won the FA Cup and they are in the Championship.
“Of course we are the first that we want to win a trophy but that doesn’t mean that it is going to be a successful thing or put Tottenham in a different level.
“If my ambition in Tottenham is only win the Carabao Cup or FA Cup, with all the respect for that, I think my ambition does not match the ambition of a club like Tottenham.”