Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is looking forward to facing his former club Southampton and their interim coach Kelvin Davis.
Spurs will go into the Wembley showdown on Wednesday evening desperate to bounce back from the disappointing 4-2 North London derby defeat at Arsenal, which saw them drop to fifth in the Premier League.
However, it will also have the added significance of seeing Pochettino again going up against his first club in English football.
Mark Hughes’ sacking on Monday means he will also go head-to-head with Davis in the opposite dugout, the man he first gave the captain’s armband to at St Mary’s in 2013. “I care a lot for Southampton,” Pochettino said.
“It was my first opportunity and then always I told the people of course the fans were very disappointed when we left, but the circumstances were completely different after a year and a half. “Always with my family we talk and I think it was one of the best periods in my life that we spent there.
We found amazing people there, an amazing town. “They provided everything, made it feel like home for us and always my affection is going to be there.
“It was my first club in England, the possibility to manage a club in the Premier League with not one word in English, because when I arrived six years ago I still needed to improve. “It was a massive impact in my life as a manager and coach, and I am so grateful to Southampton.”
He added: “Of course in front is going to be Kelvin Davis, who was our player, my first captain. “He was a great personality, a great character, a great man and it’s so nice to face him, in a difficult situation for both, because we both need to win.
“But in the same way I’m so happy to see him because I know his dream is to be a coach, to be a manager. “For many reasons it’s fantastic to face him tomorrow and to meet him, but for another thing it will be a very tough 90 minutes for both sides.”