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Pochettino ‘still loves’ Southampton; ‘shocked’ by touchline ban

Sunderland v Southampton - Premier League

Pochettino has led Saints to new heights.

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Mauricio Pochettino is looking forward to his latest return to St. Mary’s, and thinks his former club is in good hands.

The Tottenham Hotspur boss led Southampton from 2013-14, leaving Saints for his current position.

[ RECAP: BVB 0-1 Spurs ]

“Poch” won’t be on the touch line for the match, as he was handed a two-match ban for a confrontation with referee Mike Dean after a 2-1 loss to Burnley. The manager says he’s “shocked” at the punishment, and waiting for an explanation on why he’s been dealt with so harshly.

“This is my first time that maybe I wasn’t completely right in behavior, but I think it is too much,” he said. “I feel a little bit sad and disappointed with the punishment. It’s unbelievable.”

Southampton is in another relegation battle, but has turned its fortunes around since appointing Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Pochettino backed Hasenhuttl and says this weekend’s match will be a big test for his men. He hopes Saints do well... in all the other matches of their season, of course.

“A lot of people were disappointed when I left the club and they are not going to forgive, but I still love them. In one year and a half I spent there, it was a great experience. For different circumstances that are difficult to understand, I left the club.

“I cried a lot when I left, my family too. It was one of the most important periods in my life. I hope we beat them Saturday, but I wish all the best to them.”

Follow @NicholasMendola