English Premiership

Koeman relishing Spurs clash

2015-04-23 13:07
Ronald Koeman (Supplied)
Ronald Koeman (Supplied)

Cape Town - Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes the return of Mauricio Pochettino to St Mary's Stadium gives their clash against Tottenham an extra edge.

Pochettino left the Saints for Spurs after 16 months in charge on the south coast and helping the club to its highest ever points total in the Premier League.

The traveling Saints fans showed their displeasure for Pochettino at White Hart Lane in the reverse fixture earlier this season, but Koeman expects him to receive a more favourable reception at St Mary's.

"Sometimes if you go as a Barcelona player to Madrid the reception is difficult, and sometimes in Holland," Koeman said.

"But, okay, I think the reception for Mauricio normally has to be good because he did a great job for Southampton. I like him as a person and as a coach and we have a good contact.

"It is Tottenham, the difference is only one point and, okay, for the fans maybe it makes it a little bit more special because Mauricio is now the coach and was the coach of Southampton.

"He is the coach of the opponent this Saturday, so that makes it special but the game will be decided between the white lines."

A win for Southampton on Saturday would see them overtake Spurs on the table and the points record set by Pochettino when he was in charge.

Despite being on the verge of breaking Pochettino's record at the club, Koeman gave the Argentine credit for leaving the club in a strong position.

"I think they make the beginning [of this] and developed the quality of the players, the young players," Koeman added.

"I think the structure and organisation in the team, the spirit of the players starts under Mauricio.

"I took that over and maybe we were different in some details. From what I heard, maybe I try to do more training sessions with the ball and maybe he was a little bit more physical.

"I think the start, for the development of the team, was under Mauricio and he did a great job last season.

"We continue and so far we made it a little bit better than it was, but that is all about the experience and quality of the players."

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