Pochettino: No bad blood with Conte

Mauricio Pochettino admits that he respected Antonio Conte’s efforts to clear the air ahead of Tottenham and Chelsea’s Premier League clash on Sunday.

A minor spat errupted between the two managers in July, after Conte suggested that Tottenham had already reached the height of their ambitions and Pochettino responded by requesting the Italian refrain from publicly commenting on other clubs.

Speaking to reporters ahead of one of the most anticipated clashes of the new season, the Argentinean stated that his Chelsea counterpart recently attempted to smooth things over with him – a gesture he appreciated.

“Last week, we had an opportunity to talk [at the Premier League launch],” Pochettino said. “He was very clear with me, he tried to explain what he wanted to say in the media and the headline was not the same as he wanted to say. It is not a big issue. I respect him, I respect Chelsea.

“He did not apologise, he just tried to explain things to me. It is one thing how he relates things to you [the media], it is another how you perceive the message and translate it to the fans,” the former Southampton boss continued.

“Sometimes the difference is important, and he wanted to try to explain what it was that he had wanted to say. It was different to how you had explained it to the fans, and I got his message direct.

“I cannot judge because I was not there. I believe in you but I believe in him too. For me, it is not a big deal. What he said did not upset me, it is only that he wanted to be sure that I had got the right message, not the wrong message.

“We are all so emotional — sometimes you are up; sometimes you are down, upset. I don’t know. I don’t believe he wanted to be disrespectful to Spurs or myself,” Pochettino added.