Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are at a crossroads and believes it will be impossible to continue overachieving in the manner they have.
Spurs are on course for a fourth-successive top-four Premier League finish and in the semi-finals of the Champions League this season, all done against the backdrop of their £1billion stadium being built, a crippling injury list throughout the campaign and no signings in the last two transfer windows.
Pochettino previously said the completion of the club’s stadium represents the closing of a five-year chapter, but he does not know what comes next, only that it will be tough to carry on operating in the same manner.
“I think we’re going to have time to talk,” he said.
“Now we’re so focused on trying to finish the season. But if you ask me if we can repeat next season, I cannot guess.
“I said to you all that when we finish the season I think it’s a moment to close a five-year chapter, to analyse, to talk a lot and to give the real value of that period. It was amazing.
“The problem is, what do we want for the next chapter of the club? Now we’ve finished the training ground, finished the stadium.
“What does the club want to achieve in the next one, two, three, four or five years and what are the fans going to expect from the club?
“There’s many things to talk about and put on the table, and then try to be realistic.
“We cannot live like we have lived in the last five years — on the perception side and on the reality side.
“We achieved a lot of things. We overachieved maybe. I don’t know.
“Because of our ambition, the way that we work and many things we can praise, we’re here now in a very good position. But what next?”
If Pochettino had his way that would mean heavy investment in the squad as, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min missing from Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg with Ajax, he was unable to name any attacking players on the bench.
And he has called Spurs to “behave like a big club”.
“I cannot guess (what will happen) because it’s a club decision and talk,” he added. “What can we expect now?
Meanwhile Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has warned no-one at the club can afford to get “complacent and lazy” by thinking they are an established Premier League side.
The Cherries have won only twice since beating Chelsea 4-0 at the end of January, but just about did enough to keep themselves clear of the relegation scrap.
Howe knows the club, promoted to the top flight for the first time in 2015, have come a long way since being on the brink of financial meltdown and starting the 2008/09 League Two campaign on minus 17 points.
As he prepares today’s game against Tottenham at Vitality Stadium, Howe wants everyone focused on continued progress.
“People will use ‘established’, I don’t know if we have ever used that word. For us, it’s not a useful thing to look at, you can then get complacent and lazy,” he said.
“For us it is about having to prove we deserve to be here first and foremost every season, so that means starting the campaign with a really good mentality to go to achieve and progress.
“Hopefully we can keep doing that and getting stronger.”