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."
|Harden unimpressed with refs in Rockets´ 76ers disappointment|
|Ronaldo arrives for sentencing in tax fraud case|
|Record-breaking evening ´one of those nights´ for Warriors star Thompson|
|Hazard still interested in Real Madrid but won´t rule out Chelsea stay|
|Collins moves past Pavlyuchenkova, into Australian Open semis|
|Kohli makes history with ICC awards sweep|
|Thompson sets NBA record with 10 straight made three-pointers to open game|
|76ers hand Rockets largest loss of season, Harden scores 37 points|
|Tsitsipas overcomes Bautista Agut to continue Aus Open run|
|Barcelona move a ´dream come true´ for Boateng|
|Rams coach McVay on Gurley: I´ve got to get him more opportunities|
|Butler´s sprained wrist not expected to keep him out ´long term´|
|Saints owner Benson will ´aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies´|
|Levante to take Copa case to CAS|
|It can happen – Allegri plays down Ronaldo penalty miss|
|Mavericks´ Doncic becomes second-youngest player to record triple-double|
|Yankees send Sonny Gray to Reds|
|Ashley Cole reunited with Frank Lampard at Derby County|
|Arnold ready to mix things up in 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals|
|Arum: Joshua desperately needs to fight in the United States|
|South Korea v Bahrain: Bento optimistic of continuing unblemished campaign|
|Bolton Wanderers 0 West Brom 2: Baggies bounce up to third after tennis ball protest|
|Confident Moeen ready to shine for England in the Caribbean|
|Juventus 3 Chievo 0: Allegri´s men cruise despite Ronaldo penalty save|
|Boateng completes shock Barcelona switch|
|United Arab Emirates 3 Kyrgyzstan 2 (after extra time): Khalil penalty sets up Socceroos showdown|
|West Indies add Drakes to new-look coaching team|
|Barcelona is a huge opportunity – Boateng confirms shock move is close|
|Donnarumma wishes Higuain luck ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Qatar v Iraq: Katanec anticipating ´huge challenge´ in last 16|
|Nuno hit with FA misconduct charge for pitch celebration|
|Furious Carreno Busta and Zverev bow out, Djokovic marches on|
|#NotMartinFromWakefield – Siewert shows viral sensation the door|
|Djokovic feeling the strain after late-night Medvedev battle|
|Henderson sidelined again ahead of Six Nations|
|Australia 0 Uzbekistan 0 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Ryan heroics see holders hobble onwards|
|Halep exit leaves four-way fight to be crowned number one at Australian Open|
|Super Bowl-bound Rams set for London return, Chiefs to face Chargers in Mexico|
|Huddersfield appoint Siewert as Wagner´s replacement|
|Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out|
|McTominay signs new Manchester United contract|
|Pizzi to stand down after Saudi Arabia elimination|
|Boateng closing in on shock Barcelona switch - reports|
|Catalans to defend Challenge Cup after resolving RFL dispute|
|Djokovic wears down Medvedev to reach last eight|
|Mouratoglou: I knew ´loyal´ Serena would not fire me after US Open turmoil|
|Barcelona B defender Wague accuses Ejea fans of racist abuse|
|I felt like I had been hit by a train - Halep upbeat despite losing Serena battle|
|Arsenal confirm Mislintat departure|
|Icardi will renew, 100 per cent - Wanda Nara offers latest Inter assurance|
|Japan 1 Saudi Arabia 0: Four-time winners send Pizzi´s men out|
|A souvlaki maybe named after him, a growing fan base – Tsitsipas creating Melbourne buzz|
|Barca winger Dembele out for 15 days|
|Strikers blown away by Hurricanes in Adelaide|
|Ireland lose Beirne for England and Scotland clashes|
|´Innate fighter´ Serena says character key to beating Halep|
|Hudson-Odoi ´an outstanding talent´ - Bayern great Ballack hails Chelsea youngster|
|Scotland call up four as hand injury forces Watson out|
|Serena comes through major Halep battle to reach last eight|
|Better than Rafa? Camacho cameo leaves Klopp unconvinced by transfer options|
|England job ´a privileged position´, says Southgate|
|Emery has confidence in Arsenal outcast Ozil|
|Zverev destroys racquet in Aus Open meltdown|
|From Villarreal to Aus Open quarters – Bautista Agut breaks major duck|
|Brees: I plan on being here next year and making another run at it|
|´Unf******-believable bro!´ - Brady stunned after reaching third straight Super Bowl|
|New England find answers, penalty costs Kansas City – three takeaways from Patriots´ win over Chiefs|
|Donald Trump congratulates Brady and Super Bowl-bound Patriots|
|Rose helps Timberwolves down Suns|
|Brady leads Patriots into third straight Super Bowl|