Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits the Carabao Cup pales into insignificance compared to other prizes on his side’s wishlist as they prepare to host Championship outfit Barnsley in Tuesday’s third-round clash.
Despite transforming Spurs into Premier League title-challengers, Pochettino has yet to add any silverware to the north London club’s trophy cabinet during his tenure, which is now in its fourth campaign.
Tottenham finished last term as runners-up to Chelsea in the league, but have endured a stuttering start to the new season as they get to grips with playing their home games at Wembley while the construction of their new stadium is completed.
Their last trophy was secured by Juande Ramos as Spurs defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley in the 2008 League Cup final, but Pochettino insists his team’s focus should be on far loftier goals.
“The pressure is to win the Premier League or Champions League,” said Pochettino. “They are the two big trophies. I’d love to win a cup for our fans but Tottenham must build a project for the Premier League and Champions League.
“If we forget those two, it’s a big mistake. For a big team to win trophies, it means the Premier League or Champions League. Wigan won the FA Cup. Where is Wigan now? League One. That is the most important example.”
Given his focus on Tottenham’s Premier League and Champions League campaigns, Pochettino has confirmed he intends to shuffle his pack for the showdown with Barnsley, who are currently 20th in the second tier.
Deadline day signing Fernando Llorente and midfielder Harry Winks are in line for their first starts of the season, while winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and teenager Tashan Oakley-Boothe could also feature.
“For different reasons I will rotate the team,” added Pochettino. “But in the end it’s Tottenham that is going to play, like in different competitions.
“Maybe to give the possibility to play for a player that doesn’t play too much I think it’s a good possibility to see them and try to give the possibility to maybe fight to be in the starting XI more regularly.”