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."
|Marseille have ´moved on´ from Balotelli deal|
|´Crazy´ Cheika his own toughest critic|
|McClaren defiant amid QPR woes|
|Lendl joins Zverev´s coaching staff|
|England captain Hartley ready for return|
|Buttler happy to serve up a century as England dig in at Trent Bridge|
|PSV beat BATE in Champions League thriller, Benfica held at home|
|Mkhitaryan backs Emery´s philosophy at Arsenal|
|Championship Review: Leeds go top, QPR problems mount|
|Ronaldo shares snap of ´Juventus family´|
|Aguero is the Premier League´s best foreign import, says Shearer|
|Real Madrid warned they must pay Rodrigo´s €120m release clause|
|England´s Broad fined for Pant rant|
|India on brink of victory after brilliant Bumrah halts Buttler|
|Serena Williams elevated to 17th seed at US Open|
|Kombouare signs new two-year Guingamp contract|
|Scaloni unclear on Messi´s long-term Argentina plans|
|F1 Raceweek: Gasly and Alonso restore focus at Spa|
|Nouri able to communicate, brother reveals|
|Pjanic extends Juventus contract to 2023|
|Odegaard joins Vitesse in latest loan from Real Madrid|
|Luck ´sort of happy´ with sack from Suggs|
|Manchester United´s Sanchez will ´be back soon´|
|Former Giants star Cruz announces retirement|
|RFU set Cipriani disciplinary date despite RPA complaints|
|Spalletti fined €10,000 for ´gravely offensive´ referee comments|
|IndyCar driver Wickens has spinal surgery after Pocono crash|
|Tiger: No doubt this is one of my best years|
|Vice-captain Tiger trying to remain objective in Ryder Cup conversations|
|Ronaldo won´t win Serie A by himself, warns Allan|
|Moeen sends message to England selectors with double century|
|Brunt calls time on Northern Ireland career|
|Tottenham´s Janssen sidelined after foot surgery|
|Liu Xiang breaks women´s 50m backstroke world record at Asian Games|
|Atletico Madrid winger Vitolo suffers knee ligament damage|
|Leverkusen teen Havertz aiming to emulate idol Ozil|
|Beckham to be honoured with UEFA President´s Award|
|CPS drops Hillsborough charges against Bettison|
|Who can take over from Federer, Nadal & Djokovic? Agassi backs Zverev, Kyrgios|
|´Freak incident´ rules Dragons´ Vaughan out for season|
|Kompany: Different Manchester City must not be complacent|
|Toyota withdraw appeal over Alonso´s Silverstone disqualification|
|Manchester City offload defender Denayer to Lyon|
|RPA want RFU to drop Cipriani charge|
|Cheika still the right man for Australia - Polota-Nau|
|Bolt not giving up on Manchester United dream|
|All Blacks must improve ´average´ set-piece, says Smith|
|Raiola hits back at Scholes following Pogba criticism|
|Indians top Red Sox in series opener|
|Struff stuns Cecchinato, Jarry reaches last 16|
|I´ll prove people wrong - Bolt completes first Mariners training session|
|Former champ Kvitova tops Radwanska, Pliskova ousted|
|Sad if it´s Filipe Luis´ last game for Atletico - Oblak|
|White Sox manager Rick Renteria hospitalised before game|
|Carragher: Van Dijk can become Liverpool legend|
|No timetable for Sale return from shoulder injury|
|This is a partnership - Rodgers on contract negotiations with Packers|
|Eagles QB Wentz unsure he´ll be cleared to play opener|
|Balotelli staying at Nice|
|It wasn´t a penalty, says Hodgson as Palace boss fumes at refereeing decisions|
|Salah can play much better - Klopp demands more from Liverpool star|
|Gasly to Red Bull: Vettel, Verstappen and the drivers who took their Toro Rosso chance|
|Klopp in the dark on Karius future amid links to Besiktas|
|Simeone pleased with draw after rigours of Super Cup|
|Captain Reus saves Dortmund in DFB-Pokal|
|I couldn´t care less - Klopp rejects title challenge talk|
|Ailing Bairstow keen to aid England´s unlikely victory bid at Trent Bridge|
|Redskins secure Peterson signing|
|Manchester City goalkeeper Bravo suffers ruptured Achilles|
|Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 2: Milner and Mane secure victory at Selhurst Park|