Tottenham v Chelsea: Mauricio Pochettino praises Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

Mauricio Pochettino celebrates
Mauricio Pochettino won 159 of 293 matches during five-and-a-half years in charge at Tottenham

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino said he holds no animosity over his sacking by Tottenham and praised Spurs chairman Daniel Levy for doing an "amazing" job.

Pochettino, 51, took Tottenham to their first Champions League final in 2019 before being sacked five months later.

Chelsea visit Premier League leaders Tottenham on Monday and the Argentine was not worried about receiving a negative reaction from the home fans.

"I am going to accept what they will show," he said.

After guiding Southampton to eighth in the Premier League in 2013-14, Pochettino was appointed Tottenham manager in May 2014 and was in charge for five and a half years.

"I didn't decide to leave," he added. "We parted ways because I was sacked. But it's not a criticism to the club. That is a difference, we didn't decide to leave. Maybe [we could be] still there."

During his spell at Spurs finished fifth, third, second, third and fourth in the league and lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the Champions League final.

But they were 14th when Pochettino was sacked, with the club appointing Jose Mourinho.

Asked about the state of the relationship with Levy, Pochettino, who then won the French title with Paris St-Germain before returning to the Premier League in the summer, replied: "Very good, yes.

"We are very respectful and he sent a text when I signed here, wishing the best to me and everyone.

"We need to be natural. Nearly six years working together, how many things happened in six years? Good and not so good.

"We are responsible for our relationship. We cannot now forget our relationship in a period which was very important in our careers and for the club."

During Pochettino's time working under Levy, Tottenham challenged for the Premier League title, became Champions League regulars and built a £1bn stadium.

Since then, Levy has endured criticism and protests from fans, although his recent appointment of Ange Postecoglou has led to a 10-match unbeaten league run and Spurs will return to the top of the table with a win against Chelsea.

"It's really important to understand the fans are very emotional, more than us, and they want that your team every time wins and plays well," added Pochettino.

"He [Levy] is involved now more than 20 years in football and understands the situation.

"I cannot say if it was fair we were sacked or not - that is football and we need to accept the rules of football.

"Daniel is really clever, clever enough to understand that the feelings are the feelings. But that doesn't mean that the people don't recognise your job.

"He was amazing, the job he's doing for Tottenham, for the club.

"You see Tottenham 20 years ago and now, how it [the club] changed, how it moved on and I think you need to recognise his job."