Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side “have to operate in a different way” if they are to ever win the Premier League.
Pochettino has turned Spurs into title contenders over the last few seasons but has barely spent any money in comparison to other clubs at the top of the English game.
Spurs did not sign anyone in the summer transfer window and Pochettino says he does not expect to do any business this month either.
The Argentinian, who has been linked with the Manchester United job, does not believe it is sustainable for Spurs to keep challenging the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool unless they change their philosophy.
The boss, whose side take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday, said: “Of course now after nearly five years the club is on another level than five years ago, but how we operate in four or five years didn’t change.
“That is the point when sometimes people talk about winning titles. One thing is to reduce the gap with the top four, to be competitive, to create a team capable of fighting with the big sides.
“But if after we want to win titles we need to operate in a different way.
“At the moment we operate in the same way as we operated in five years ago when we arrived.
“Of course, maybe we can win some titles but it’s going to be a tough job to do because in that situation every club in the last five years was improving a lot.
“The other day I saw a stat that in the last 10 years in England and in Europe how the teams were spending money, and I think we were on the bottom, in England and Europe.
“Of course we’re doing a fantastic job but if we want to be real contenders we need to operate in a different way in the future.”
Pochettino was employed by Daniel Levy in 2014 and given the brief of making Spurs into a top-four side by the time they moved into the new stadium.
He is well in front of his timescale on that front and he says the club are in an “amazing position” even if they do not have any silverware to show for it.
He added: “When you are in charge like a coach or a manager, like what happened with Arsene Wenger, that they were building the new stadium but at the same moment you have a lot of limitations and the people demand you to win but you don’t have the same tools to fight with other clubs.
“Of course it is going to be fantastic, but the most important thing that I accept that challenge when Daniel Levy called me to offer a contract here.
“He was clear – him and (owner) Joe Lewis. And they said, ‘Mauricio, you need to prepare and to help the club to arrive to the new stadium. When we finish the new stadium, in the first season on the new stadium, (we need) to have a team that can finish in the top four in the season after’.
“We are in advance, no? That is why sometimes I laugh when the people say we need to win a trophy. Yes, but look at the project – how we are in advance.
“But we are so ambitious and we have the ambition to win. I think we are in an amazing position. The club is finishing the new stadium, one of the best stadiums in the world.
“The team is so competitive that we are involved for the third season in a row in the Champions League, playing the last year and a half in Wembley away from home. What more?”