London (AFP) - Mauricio Pochettino says he is proud that Tottenham have closed the gap on the Premier League's top clubs as he targets Champions League qualification for a third successive season.
Spurs, who face Brighton on Tuesday, are fourth in the table despite a lower financial outlay than their rivals and playing at Wembley while their new ground is built.
"In football it's about this, it is to be clear who you are and then to try to maximise your potential," said Pochettino, whose side can still finish second in the table behind champions Manchester City.
"At Tottenham for us it is to be brave, to believe, to work hard, to work harder than other clubs that the people consider are at our level," said the Argentine.
He said Spurs had made big strides in recent years and were now consistently challenging at the top end of the Premier League table.
"Now we are there but I think for me the most important thing is that we are there with a completely different way, or different tools of course, to teams like City or Manchester United," he said.
"You can work unbelievably hard, you can have these ideas on football as a coach or a coaching staff," added Pochettino, whose side have 67 points, four fewer than Jose Mourinho's United, in second spot.
"But then you need the principal actors to deliver this idea and of course if you have better players, better quality... if you want a bigger house you need to pay what the market says.
"In football it's the same, or you have a spontaneous generation like there was at Barcelona that appeared with Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, (Lionel) Messi, (Gerard) Pique, (Cesc) Fabregas, (Carles) Puyol. Or like the '92 generation at Manchester United.
"Of course that is not about money, that is a spontaneous generation that makes your team unbelievable."