Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham should be given more credit for challenging Chelsea for the title given the greater financial muscle of their Premier League rivals.
Chelsea were crowned champions on Friday after edging out West Brom but Spurs are the only side to have pushed the Blues while other contenders have faded away.
Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all suffered from inconsistency this season, with Tottenham sitting second and seven points clear of the chasing pack.
Pochettino believes his team’s position in the table should be measured in the context of the club’s inferior spending power.
Spurs’ net spend last summer was around £30million while Arsenal and Chelsea forked out close to £100m. Both Manchester clubs spent more than £150m.
“Sure the season so far was good and it’s true when you don’t win you feel disappointed because that is our ambition,” Pochettino said.
“But when we start the season, to be honest we don’t analyse the budget and the investment of the other clubs but when you finish the season you must put it all in the same place to analyse and to say if it was good or if you feel disappointed for the season.”
Tottenham are likely to field interest in a number of their young talents this summer while their spending pot continues to be restricted by the club’s new £800m stadium project.
Pochettino admits he needs to strengthen his squad but says Spurs will still not be able to match their rivals in the transfer market.
“It’s true maybe that we need some help to try to add always, to improve the squad, and help in that way,” Pochettino said.
“Of course, that is difficult because we are in a completely different project to our opponents, the clubs that play for the same things as us. Maybe we are a little bit at a disadvantage.
“But the good thing is that we are very focused in trying to develop different things, to try to be in the same level as them without investing the same money as them.”
On Sunday, Tottenham face United, who remain four points adrift of the top four and whose best hope of Champions League qualification would appear to be by winning the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho has said he will not put out a full-strength side this weekend but Pochettino warned Spurs to take nothing for granted.
“They will take it seriously,” Pochettino said.
“When you play Premier League you take it seriously and they will come here to compete. It will be tough for us and tough for them.
“We want to win and be sure they want to win also. You play for your pride. It would be a mistake to think it will be easy because Man United are focused on the Europa League.”