Mauricio Pochettino felt Tottenham were better than Crystal Palace but was left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat.
The cup exit, courtesy of a goal on the stroke of half-time from Martin Kelly, means Spurs can concentrate on pursuing both the Premier League title and the Europa League, but Pochettino insisted their reduced schedule came as no relief.
“We feel very disappointed because it was a competition that was very exciting for us to go far but we are in a very tough period and every game seems like a final,” Pochettino said.
“We need to be ready for next Thursday as we have another ‘final’ (against Fiorentina in the Europa League’s round of 32). The next game is the most important now.
“Dele (Alli) played well even though opponents tried to provoke him but there is nothing to complain about. We had good chances to win (against Palace).
“Against Fiorentina we ran seven kilometres more. (And) our effort was bigger than Crystal Palace’s, but it is about winning or not.”
Pochettino added to BBC Sport: “It was tough. It’s like a Premier League game but you need to be clinical in front of goal. We managed the game, created chances, but it was difficult to win.
“There was no tiredness. If we analysed the game we played better but you need to score. It’s hard to explain.
“It’s a tough period for us. We have a crazy schedule but now we need to look forward to be ready for next Thursday [v Fiorentina].
“It’s impossible to know if losing here will help us in the long ruin. Now we feel disappointed because we’re out.”