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Mauricio Pochettino: ‘I still love Southampton’

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Manager Mauricio Pochettino of Spurs reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 27, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

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Mauricio Pochettino upset many Saints fans when he left Southampton for Tottenham this summer, leading to a massive fire sale by the club.

This weekend saw Pochettino face his former club for the first time in a match that carried a little extra emotion for the manager and his players.

After battling the Saints for a 1-0 win, Pochettino thanked Southampton and their fans for his time at St. Mary’s.

[ Match recap: Tottenham 1-0 Southampton ]

There was no extra pressure. It was an emotional game for me. I love Southampton, I love the people in Southampton.

It was a great 18 months for me in my life and my family and was a very tough decision. I am happy for the performance of the team but it was emotional for me.

I still love Southampton and maybe I can understand but this is football. I do not change my feeling, nothing about Southampton.”

While many thought Pochettino’s departure and the mass exodus of talent would cripple Southampton, the Saints have enjoyed a wonderful start to their season, currently sitting in third place in the Premier League.

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]

Tottenham sits two points behind Southampton in the sixth position, as the team continues to adapt to Pochettino’s attacking style of play.

With the international break ahead, Pochettino will have plenty of time to prepare for Spurs’ next Premier League match against Manchester City, a statement game for the club after being embarrassed 5-1 last season by the defending champions.