Mauricio Pochettino reveals honest feelings about Tottenham ahead of return with Chelsea

  • Tottenham host London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday night
  • Mauricio Pochettino to make first return to Spurs since sacking in 2019
  • Argentine has revealed his true feelings about Tottenham and his thoughts on the reception he will receive
Pochettino is heading back to Spurs as the head coach of Chelsea
Pochettino is heading back to Spurs as the head coach of Chelsea / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he is pleased to see former side Tottenham Hotspur contending for the Premier League title as he prepares to return to the club with Chelsea on Monday.

The Argentine spent five-and-a-half years in charge of Spurs from 2014 to 2019, turning them into a consistent top-four side and leading them to their first ever Champions League final in his last full season.

However, Tottenham have largely failed to recreate the success that Pochettino delivered in the four years since his sacking, while their trophy drought has continued despite the appointment of managers such as Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

Spurs hired Ange Postecoglou back in June and the Greek-Australian has quickly won over supporters with his authentic nature, unifying presence and attractive brand of football, with Spurs topping the Premier League table after ten rounds of fixtures.

At his pre-match press conference, Pochettino was asked whether he thought his former side are title contenders.

"Yes. I think so. They are doing a fantastic job. Ange and the other coaches, they are doing a fantastic job. Very good players, very good team and you can feel they can be a contender," he replied.

"It is early in the season but they are showing the quality to be a contender.

"I'm so happy for him and the club to be doing really well. We cannot forget all that happened there. It's normal that we are very positive and grateful people.

"When people are doing well at the club I have been at, we keep these links and always we are happy when the club do well."

Tottenham sacked Pochettino in November 2019 / IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

Pochettino hurt plenty of Tottenham fans when he chose to join one of their fiercest enemies in Chelsea - 90min understands he would have been interested in returning to north London earlier this year if the club called him - though he did reiterate the only clubs he would never manage in his career were the direct rivals of Espanyol and Spurs.

"I only said the only teams I would never manage are Arsenal and Barcelona. It is a strange feeling to come back after four years, for me, it is going to be a happy day. But that's life and we need to move on," he asserted.

There has been debate among the Spurs fanbase over what kind of reception Pochettino should receive on his first return to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, though he himself insists his feelings about the club won't change if he is booed.

"It's really special [to return] because coming back after four years to a place we have amazing memories and created amazing memories together, I think it is special. I cannot lie," he continued.

"The moment I left the club, it was a difficult situation, a difficult moment. Now, we have the opportunity to come back and see people who are still working there, a good chance for us, and it's going to be an exciting moment.

"The most important thing is people know we cannot forget what we lived together. Amazing memories and then I'm going to respect the people, [however] they're going to express [themselves].

"It won't change my emotions [if I'm booed], or my view, my feelings about a club where we spent an unbelievable journey."