Mauricio Pochettino has opened up on his decision to join Chelsea last summer, following a previous spell in charge of London rivals Tottenham.
Pochettino will return to former club Spurs for the first time since taking charge at Chelsea, with his decision to join their capital rivals having angered sections of the Spurs support.
Pochettino was a popular figure during five-and-a-half years in north London and the Argentine has opened up on his crossing of the capital divide.
“Clubs I said I’ll never manage was Barcelona and Arsenal because I considered them the worst enemy of Tottenham,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s strange to come back because always the feeling after four years, it’s going to be a happy day but that is life and we need to move on.
“We are professional but at the same time we are human. We were talking about the four months we are working together and creating some links and maybe we spend five or six years together, if I’m sacked why are we going to forget our relationship? That is how we build our history.”
Asked on what reception he expects to receive at Spurs, Pochettino said: “I’m not going to say anything at the moment because until Monday we cannot guess. The most important is people know we cannot forget what we lived together. It won’t change my emotions, my feelings about a club where we spent an unbelievable journey.”
Chelsea will head into Monday’s clash as underdogs, with Spurs top of the Premier League table and unbeaten this season. Pochettino again called for patience in the project as an inexperienced Chelsea side develop under his management.
“We are in a different project. All the history of Chelsea is to win big things. I think Chelsea in the last 15 years won titles, now we are in a different situation where we are building something for the future.
“Maybe struggle a little bit in the beginning, maybe we deserve more but because we are so young maybe we are not managing the situation. No doubt in the future that Chelsea will be in the position they deserve to be because of their history.”