Pochettino sees methods pay off

Tottenham fans got a glimpse of what coach Mauricio Pochettino wants from his team in the defeat of former club Southampton.

A goal by Christian Eriksen, left, proved enough for Tottenham Hotspur, who hosted Southampton at White Hart Lane. Ian Walton / Getty Images
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Tottenham Hotspur - Eriksen 40'

LONDON // Tottenham Hotspur fans got a glimpse of what coach Mauricio Pochettino wants from his team in the defeat of former club Southampton.

The former Argentina international enjoyed a highly successful 18 months with Southampton and last season led them to their best English Premier League campaign.

That success saw Tottenham come calling in the summer, with Pochettino and his staff making the difficult decision to swap St Mary’s for White Hart Lane.

They came up against their former club for the first time yesterday and prevented Ronald Koeman’s side making it seven successive wins in all competitions.

Christian Eriksen’s 20-yard strike secured the 1-0 victory, which not only ended Spurs’ four-match wait for a league win but showed the players are adapting to the Pochettino’s high-pressing, attacking style.

“I am very happy and I congratulate the players who made a good job,” he said. “We are still improving. Three months in charge with a new philosophy.

“I am very happy today to get the three points and happy with the performance and happy with the way that the team played. This is what we want. I think the team deserved to win. 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.”

In the build-up, Pochettino called his time at Southampton the best period of his life and he clearly enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces at White Hart Lane.

However, his affection was not reciprocated by the sold-out visiting support, with chants aimed at the Spurs coach from the outset.

“I still love Southampton and maybe I can understand but this is football,” Pochettino said of the taunts.

Surprisingly, his Southampton counterpart, Koeman, was more forthright in giving his opinion of the chants directed at his predecessor.

“Yes, OK, that is the reaction of the fans, and I don’t agree with that,” the Dutchman said. “I think everybody needs respect and normally the respect is high in the Premier League. I respect Mauricio very much, and he did a great job in Southampton. Now he is the manager of Tottenham, and it is a great challenge for him.”

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