Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he “cried” when leaving Southampton in 2014, ahead of returning to St Mary’s Stadium with Tottenham on Saturday.
The Argentine spent just a season and a half at Southampton from 2013 but described his first managerial post in England as a formative experience that he found difficult to leave.
“Of course there were a lot of people disappointed when I left the club and will not forgive me but I still love them,” he said. “A lot of people feel that love. I love Southampton. For me, I spent one and a half years there, I can tell you it was a great experience I enjoyed a lot.
“For different reasons that it is difficult to explain and understand why, I left the club. I cried a lot when I left, my family too. It was one of most important periods in my life with my family, that they enjoyed the most. That is why it was so tough.
“Of course people can criticise, why did you leave, but sometimes for different circumstances you need to change in our your life and move and be away from some situations. I cannot explain but I still love them.”