And, while they can still finish third, they may need to win both of their remaining games against Newcastle and Leicester this week to secure a seat at Europe's top table for a third successive season.
"It is still in our hands to be third", he said. With two games left, to finish third I think is a massive success. "But I think it's not a problem [if we don't qualify]".
"We are ambitious. Like in football, when you need patience to break down your opponent - we need that".
"The plan, four years ago, wasn't to play every season in the Champions League to be sure the club is going to survive".
"It is like a marathon to create a team capable to win". It's not an explosive 100 metres, standing and stopping in nine seconds.
"I am sure disappointed of course if we don't achieve in the next few years a title, of course, but what we can not do is to forget from where we came from".
"But to find ourselves in the position to be third is an ideal situation for us".
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Oliver Telusma was one of the graduates who has since opened up about his experience being mistreated. The backlash prompted an apology from the school president following the Saturday event.
"Of course, it's never enough in football and I always told the players, after working hard for two hours in a training session, "Yes, well done but it's not enough, it's not enough".
Spurs may have finished without silverware again but Pochettino still described their campaign as "amazing".
"For me, awesome progression", he said.
"You arrive at the decisive games of the seasons and you need to play with different players", Pochettino said. The team was complete, unbelievable with the fans, without the corner, remember, at White Hart Lane. We need to enjoy, be focused and try to win'.
"We moved to Wembley and there are a lot of fears because the Champions League wasn't great last season".
Spurs will be without Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, Serge Aurier and Harry Winks when they host Newcastle at Wembley on Wednesday, but Pochettino hopes Dier can return against Leicester on the final day. It started on Monday night when he was vomiting and had a fever. I feel disappointed after the weekend in the way that we lost the three points but we need to move on.