Pochettino kicked off the mind games by labelling title rivals Chelsea favourites not just to win tomorrow’s mouth-watering semi-final but the whole competition.
Pochettino claims Chelsea and their players’ superior trophy-winning experience gives them an edge against Spurs at Wembley.
And the Blues’ status as Premier League leaders going into the semis and “one of the best teams in Europe” according to Pochettino makes them favourites to lift the trophy next month.
He said: “If there’s a favourite it’s Chelsea because they are top of the Premier League, with experienced players and the manager (Antonio Conte) they have.
“In the last five years their players won European competitions, World Cups, manager who won the title with Juventus in Italy. They’re a more experienced team than us.
“If you compare them with our players we still have not won anything, some players maybe won some titles but it’s about improving and we are improving a lot.
“First of all you must be close and have the chance to challenge. We have the chance to challenge big teams and try to win some titles. Then it’s up to us to make the dream reality.
“It’s a very important competition and to have an opportunity to play the semi-final against one of the best teams in Europe, it doesn’t happen often. It’s very exciting.”
Captain Hugo Lloris admits it will take time for Spurs to become a regular trophy-winning side.
Pochettino has taken Spurs to new levels in his three years at White Hart Lane, lifting them from a top six side to title challengers.
They are chasing their first trophy since the 2008 though, after losing to Chelsea in the 2015 league cup final and finishing third last season despite being eventual champions Leicester’s closest challengers for most of the campaign.
Lloris said: “A winning mentality is already in this team – we just need some chances and opportunities, and we have a few before the end of the season. When you have a chance, you have to take it.
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“It’s true that at some other clubs, in England, France, Spain, Italy or Germany, they are used to winning a lot of trophies.
“It was the case 50 years ago, it was the case 20 years ago and it will be the case in a few years. Because they are big institutions and all the players respect those institutions.
“That’s the way to follow, but you cannot arrive one day and say, ‘I want to change everything’, and then win. “You need to take time, build up something strong step-by-step, and you need to live through experiences like last season.
“Even like this season – in the Champions League it was a failure but we need to go through this kind of moment to improve. It’s a process.”