Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes he and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino must win a trophy if they are to leave a legacy at their respective clubs.
Pochettino has transformed Spurs into Champions League regulars, and they remain well in contention for the Premier League title this term with only six points separating them and leaders Liverpool.
His impact is even more impressive in the context of Tottenham regularly being outspent by their main rivals in the transfer market.
But Pochettino’s critics often beat him with the stick that Spurs have yet to win silverware under his stewardship, and Sarri says the Argentine will be aware of the need to deliver trophies, as it is a reality he also faces.
‘I agree because he [Pochettino] is a very good coach, one of the best at the moment, I agree he has to win a trophy, I hope not this [trophy],’ Sarri said ahead of Chelsea’s EFL Cup semi-final first-leg meeting with Spurs on Tuesday.
‘I think it is the same [for me]. Of course, Pochettino is at Tottenham from four years ago and I am here from six months, and I think that here in the first season it is really very difficult for everybody.
‘For Pochettino, four years, for [Jurgen] Klopp, four years [without a trophy]. It was really very hard in the first season also for [Manchester City manager Pep] Guardiola, so here it is really very difficult to build up a very good team. You need time.’
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Chelsea were completely outplayed by Spurs in a 3-1 reverse at Wembley in November, and Sarri says the aftermath of that humbling defeat helped him realise the gravitas of the fixture.
‘I saw my players in the dressing room after the match,’ the Italian said. ‘They were destroyed, so I realised that the match against Tottenham is a very important match for the club, the fans and the players as well.
‘They needed only to realise why the match was so bad and it was really very easy because the video of the first 15 minutes was clear.
‘There was a big difference in mentality, aggressiveness and determination, so it was clear. Clear for me and also for the players.’
Sarri is convinced his side have since rediscovered their determination, however.
‘I think so because the level of determination is good, now we have to solve some problems, of course,’ he added.
‘Sometimes during the match we were not able to have the right reaction to the difficulties to a negative situation.
‘In the last match we were not able to have the right reaction to a positive situation because after the second goal we conceded four shots on goal in two minutes, so we need to learn that we cannot lower the application in the defensive phase.’