Mauricio Pochettino has suggested it will take another four years to develop a winning mentality at Tottenham – even if he is not the man in charge.
Spurs' hopes of a first trophy since 2008 were ended for another year on Saturday, as Manchester United came from behind to beat them 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Midfielder Dele Alli, who broke the deadlock before Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera turned the match around, claimed afterwards that his side must learn to see out key games against top opposition.
But Pochettino, who took over as manager four years ago, thinks it will take the same time again to cement Spurs' place as a consistent challenger for honours and even suggested it could fall to another manager to continue the work.
"No, no regrets [about the game]," he told a news conference. "I think we competed, we dominated the first half completely and 1-1 was unfair.
"In the second half they scored and the game was more competitive. It was even.
"Of course, when you compete with these kind of teams like Manchester United, it's always 50-50 and today the victory was for them.
"We try to learn always but at this point it is difficult. It is not about learning – it is about having the capacity to beat your opponent. Otherwise, we have to go to university and study and study...
"We are in a process where we get to the FA Cup semi-finals, we get to the Champions League, we are fighting for the top four. It is tough because we are close, we are close, nearly.
"Over the last four years, we are building a very good team, trying to create the winning mentality but at the moment it is not enough. Tottenham have to keep going in this direction because it will be perfect.
"To create that winning mentality is another four years. I think Tottenham [with] more time, with me or with another, but I think it is important to keep developing that philosophy that is important for the club."
Pochettino believes there should be more "realistic" critiques of Spurs' achievements in recent years, insisting they cannot always expect to compete with the likes of United and Premier League champions Manchester City.
"The most difficult thing in football is to be realistic because no one is realistic," he said. "But, at some point, you need to be realistic and our fans need to be realistic.
"If we believe in that process and the way we are working then it will be so easy to face teams like City and United
"Of course we can win but most of the time we are going to struggle to compete. Tottenham is a completely different club to others.
"Four years ago, when we arrived, there was the challenge to be competitive and to reduce the distance to the top four. In the last four years we were there and competitive, but to win a trophy is not easy.
"For me, it is about keeping going. I am disappointed and after the game very frustrated but quickly I move on, thinking how to finish the season in the best way.
"We have four games to make sure we can play the Champions League and it will be a successful season if we finish in the top four."
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving to sit out Cavs game with flu-like symptoms|
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|
|Hendricks, De Kock and Steyn join up with Proteas squad|
|Lorenzo excited for ´new level´ at Repsol Honda|
|Fernando replaces injured Pradeep in Sri Lanka squad|
|China v Iran: Queiroz wants to exorcise 2015 quarter-final|
|Balotelli joins Marseille until the end of the season|
|Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links|
|Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals on one-year deal|
|Watson absence ´an opportunity´ for Scotland hopefuls, says Townsend|
|Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast|
|´No trace´ of aircraft so far in Sala search|
|Pochettino will not judge Sarri for criticising Chelsea players|
|From front row to four in a row - Best takes on Farrell at Connect 4|
|Hazard an individual, not a leader - Sarri urges Chelsea star to do more|
|Broad left out of England team for first Test|
|Higuain set to sign for Chelsea but won´t face Tottenham – Sarri|
|McGillvary injury blow for Giants|
|Solari praises Marcelo amid exit rumours|
|A-League Review: Joy and pain for De Jong as Sydney close gap|
|Halfpenny, Davies and Williams set to miss France clash|
|India to rest Kohli from back end of New Zealand tour|
|The hand is good - Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland|
|Martinez leaves Arsenal for Reading loan|
|Beckham becomes Salford City shareholder|
|Maradona hopes Sala will be found alive|
|Djokovic will not discuss potential Nadal showdown yet|
|A Federer-Nadal double? Even historic scalps may not be enough for Tsitsipas|
|Raonic to assess knee injury, hopes to avoid surgery|
|Barcelona right to fine ´complicated´ Dembele, says Ter Stegen|
|Higuain and Piatek on the move on busy day for Milan|
|Philippe and Vince humble the Hurricanes|
|Nishikori: I couldn´t beat anybody on one leg|
|Boateng poised for debut as Barcelona axe Suarez|
|Shami sets record in crushing win after sun stops play|
|Sala search focused on possible use of life raft|
|Pouille exceeds own expectations with run to Aus Open semis|
|Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals|
|A golden boy, a guy you want to love - Delecroix pays emotional tribute to Sala|
|Richardson, Patterson to make Australia debuts against Sri Lanka|
|Police resume search for missing Sala plane|
|Pouille upsets Raonic to reach Australian Open semis|
|Dunk sees Stars past Strikers|
|How Serena gave up 5-1 lead – the key moments of loss to Pliskova|
|Pliskova enjoys ´best comeback´ after stunning Serena|
|Serena not blaming ankle injury for Australian Open loss|
|Mavericks capitalise on Clippers´ turnovers, pick up win in Smith´s return|
|Pliskova saves four match points to stun Serena with comeback win|
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|
|Redskins remain ´optimistic´ QB Alex Smith will play again|
|Patriots coach Belichick says Rams´ Donald is ´pretty much unblockable´|
|PSG fined €100,000 by LFP over player-recruitment practices|
|I´m not his father - Guardiola demands Mendy matures|
|Sykes record in vain as Banvit claim victory|
|Usain Bolt calls time on football career|
|Otamendi not happy at Man City, says Guardiola|
|Workaholic Woods learning to rest as he prepares for 2019 debut|
|Henry´s Monaco dumped out of Coupe de France|
|Qatar can win Asian Cup, says Sanchez|
|Tim Howard to retire following 2019 MLS season|
|Koscielny backs Bellerin to return from injury ´stronger than before´|
|Chiefs fire DC Bob Sutton after AFC Championship loss to Patriots|
|Reyes returns to Spain with second-tier strugglers Extremadura|
|Emiliano Sala: Profile of Cardiff City striker missing after joining from Nantes|