Pochettino's comments come as Spurs prepare to face Barnsley in their first Carabao Cup outing of the season. The Argentine suggested that only small clubs would be completely satisfied with a domestic cup, whereas he considers Spurs to be a 'big club'.
"I think what it means for a big team to win trophies is to win the Premier League or Champions League," Pochettino is quoted as saying by ESPN.
"There are a lot of examples: when I was at Southampton, Wigan won FA Cup. Where is Wigan today, with all my respect? League One. That is the most important example."
For Pochettino, "The project here at Tottenham is to try to win the Premier League or the Champions League. For me, that is the two big trophies.
"Okay, I would love to win the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup for our fans, but Tottenham must build a project with the possibility to fight for Champions League or Premier League.
"Sorry, first of all the Premier League and then the Champions League. If we are going to try to win Carabao Cup or FA Cup, and forget the Premier League or Champions League, it's a big mistake."
Spurs haven't won a trophy since lifting the League Cup, then sponsored by Carling, when Juande Ramos was manager in 2008. It has been 56 years since Spurs' league title.