Poch happy with fighting spirit
Published 26/04/2015 | 23:21
Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to see Nabil Bentaleb and Federico Fazio arguing on the field as that is the fighting spirit the Tottenham head coach wants to instil.
On Saturday afternoon the former Argentina international frustrated the fans that used to adore him as Spurs twice came from behind at Southampton.
Erik Lamela and then Nacer Chadli cancelled out Graziano Pelle's goals to secure a 2-2 draw from a match in which the north Londoners' spirit was more impressive than their performance.
Pochettino was, rather surprisingly, particularly happy with the on-field altercation between Bentaleb and Fazio, which needed Jan Vertonghen to act as peacemaker after Steven Davis was all too easily allowed to get away a shot.
"I need to fight with my team-mate if something wrong happens," the former Argentina defender said.
"But after it happens, in the changing room have a big hug and stop because after it has finished.
"This is good because you show that you care about your team-mates. You want to win, you want to fight and this is very important and I am happy with that.
"Sometimes in my career I did that, yes, but it is important to stop now.
"I was always happy when my team-mate shouted at me or pushed me, but in football this type of action happens.
"But always we have to be clever and say now stop because inside is one thing, but outside we need to create the good atmosphere."
It is fair to say the atmosphere at St Mary's was not particularly welcoming for Pochettino as he returned for the first time since departing last summer.
The Argentinian insists he has no hard feelings towards Saints fans and was keen to focus on the backing from those who travelled from north London.
"I was focused on the game and today I felt the support from Tottenham supporters," Pochettino said.
"They were brilliant and I am happy for that. That's why after the game I went to say thank you.
"Today I hear for the first time and that means a lot for me.
"I appreciate it so much, the support. I am very happy for that because we are starting in our relationship from the beginning and that was very good to hear from them.
"It is very good because you can feel the warmth and the people start to appreciate you and that is very important. I'm a very emotional person and it was very important."
A bond certainly appears to be building between Tottenham's staff and supporters as the season comes to a close.
Spurs fans can take a lot of encouragement from Pochettino's maiden campaign, with steady improvements, some big wins and a trip to Wembley a decent start to life at the White Hart Lane helm.
"Always when you arrive in a new club you try to settle your ideas, bring your players and try to improve the squad and try to reach the objective for the club," he said.
"We are in a very good way but we need to work very hard. Maybe we don't have holidays."