Mauricio Pochettino makes Tottenham admission as Chelsea fans point made before crunch clash

Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino of Chelsea during a press conference
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino -Credit:Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino has opened up about his experiences with Chelsea fans since taking the helm at Stamford Bridge - suggesting that the negative comments he sees online don't reflect the positive interactions he has in person.

Despite a history with Tottenham that might have made his Chelsea appointment controversial among supporters, Pochettino notes that real-life encounters, often while walking his dog Sansa, are filled with appreciation rather than animosity.

Reflecting on his relationship with the Blues' fanbase, Pochettino said: "When I walk every day with my dog in different places of London, I feel... I won't say love but the appreciation from the fans. On social media, it can be, 'Hey, you must do this, do that,' but here, it is the opposite. When I am on the street, the people are really good. If you face me on the street you will become in love. Especially if I have my dog.

"I spend one hour, one hour and a half with my dog. Maybe it is because they are scared of my dog, because it is a big dog. They appreciate and give us credit for working in a project and process that is so difficult, because the people who understand football know what is going on here."

Pochettino's candid remarks come as he prepares for a reunion with his former club Tottenham, where he spent over five years in charge before his stint with the Blues.

Mauricio Pochettino reflected on his journey with Spurs and Chelsea, saying: "They appreciate our commitment, the way we behave and the way we believe and support all the decisions that were taken before we arrived. We are in the middle of this journey. All we want is to help and add our knowledge and experience to be more competitive and help the team win games.", reports the Mirror.

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The Argentine tactician, who is revered for transforming Spurs into title challengers and leading them to a Champions League final, shared his affection for the club. As he approached his 400th managerial game in England, Pochettino confessed his bond with Chelsea isn't as strong as with Spurs yet, stating: "You cannot compare nearly six years with 10 months," and added, "Hopefully, yes [there is more work to be done]."

Reflecting on the infamous 'Battle of The Bridge' from eight years ago today, where he managed Spurs against Chelsea, Pochettino initially claimed a clear memory of the match but humorously feigned amnesia when reminded of his pitch invasion to calm tensions. He acknowledged that during the heated match, which saw Chelsea's comeback dash Spurs' 2016 title dreams, "sometimes we crossed the line" as his team amassed a record nine bookings out of twelve that evening.