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Tottenham Hotspur

Pochettino relishing Carabao Cup derby clash with 'good friend' Emery

8:09 PM EDT 10/31/18
Pochettino - cropped
The two rivals will face off in the last eight, but Spurs' manager is determined to keep things civil between him and his opposite number

Mauricio Pochettino hailed Arsenal boss Unai Emery after Tottenham were drawn against their north-London rivals in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

A double from Son Heung-min and a late effort from Fernando Llorente secured Tottenham's passage to the last eight on Wednesday, as they saw off West Ham at London Stadium.

Tottenham's reward is a trip to Emirates Stadium in the week commencing December 17, and Pochettino, who faced Emery during his days as Espanyol boss, did not hold back in praising the Gunners manager despite the bitter rivalry between the two clubs.

"I have great respect for him and his coaching staff," Pochettino, whose side will also take on Arsenal in the league on December 2, told a news conference.

"It will be a good game. Unai Emery is a good friend of mine, he has a great coaching staff and is a top manager with top staff.

"Of course, he is doing a great job and will continue to do so with Arsenal."

Pochettino made 10 changes in total to the side that started in the defeat against Manchester City on Monday, with one of those alterations – Son – grabbing the headlines thanks to a clinical display.

Son's goals ended a seven-month drought, but Pochettino insisted he never lost faith with the South Korea forward, who netted 14 times in all competitions last term.

"It's so important to reach the quarter-finals and it was a fantastic opportunity for a lot of players to show their quality. It was a very good performance," Pochettino added.

"[Son] has been working hard to try and change his situation and it now gives him good confidence and trust in himself. 

"I put my arm around him to tell him to do this, this and this, shoot top corner and score...I joke. Sonny in the last few weeks and months he was really in a situation that he wanted to work more and more every day to change it. 

"I am really happy and proud. To play two competitive games in 48 hours, the effort was fantastic. I am so happy."