Jose Mourinho said Tottenham must "go with everything they have" to end a near 30-year wait for FA Cup glory and lamented the loss of "irreplaceable" Harry Kane.
Not since 1991, when Terry Venables' side memorably beat Nottingham Forest to lift the cup, have Spurs landed the trophy.
That was their third triumph in 11 years, yet they have not reached the final since.
On Sunday, Spurs take on Middlesbrough in the third round of the competition, with preparations hampered by news of talisman Kane suffering a hamstring injury.
Winning league titles and Champions Leagues may have been the Mourinho stock-in-trade, but at Tottenham it is domestic cup success that looks a more realistic target, at least in the short term.
"The FA Cup for me is very important," said Mourinho, who guided Chelsea to their 2007 triumph in the competition.
"When I say for me, I say for Jose, for me as Tottenham head coach and as a representative of the Tottenham supporters as that's what I am at the moment.
"I think the FA Cup is very, very important. The FA Cup is the only competition when where you start you have the same chance of winning as everyone else.
"Of course, we are miles away from the Wembley semi-finals or final, but we go to this first match and we have to go with everything we have."
Just as Gary Lineker was such a key figure in the 1991 team, so Kane is the fulcrum of the current Spurs side, which makes his absence for the Middlesbrough tie and beyond all the more painful.
Mourinho will look to find a way for Tottenham to function without Kane, and the head coach appeared to intimate that despite the transfer window being open, rushing out to bring in another forward may not be the prudent option.
"We have what we have. That's the squad that started pre-season, that's the squad we have for the season," Mourinho said.
"Everybody knows the importance of Harry in the squad. I think irreplaceable. But we have to try solutions with the players we have."
On the possibility of doing business in the transfer window, Mourinho added: "The market is open until the end of January. Everybody in the club wants to give the team the best conditions but at the same time the world doesn't end at the end of this season.
"We have a few months until the end of the season to fight for results obviously but nothing ends at the end of the season. The end of the season is just the end of the first period."
One thing Mourinho seems sure of is that 17-year-old Troy Parrott, for all his potential, is not yet ready to step up and take on Kane's role.
Parrott has made his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland this season, but for Tottenham he has just one start, against Colchester in the EFL Cup, and a brief appearance off the bench against Burnley in the Premier League.
Mourinho said it was "too soon" to throw in Parrott as a regular starter, although he intends to keep him involved in the first team.
Son Heung-min returns from suspension and looks well placed to take over from Kane, while Dele Alli also has experience of playing in a front two.
Christian Eriksen could start a third successive match this weekend, but the Danish midfielder's future remains unclear.
Previously linked with Real Madrid among several of the Europe's top clubs, Eriksen is due to reach the end of his Tottenham contract at the end of the season.
Mourinho said he did not know whether Eriksen would leave - either in January or during the close season - or agree a new Spurs deal, adding: "In this moment he is here, he is our player."