Cape Town – West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini admits he is relishing pitting himself in a tactical battle against Jose Mourinho when his side face Tottenham on Saturday.
In a whirlwind week for Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino’s time in north London was brought to an abrupt end, before former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho was drafted in just 12 hours later.
Tottenham will be desperate to get off to a winning start under the Portuguese tactician, while Pellegrini will be determined to end a seven-match winless run in all competitions.
The pressure is mounting on the Chilean, but he is looking forward to getting back into the thick of the Premier League action after the international break against Mourinho’s Spurs.
“Tottenham have a very good team with some very good players,” he told reporters. “Being outside of Tottenham we cannot know what is happening. Pochettino was a manager who did a lot of good work for a lot of years for Tottenham. Now they have another experienced manager, Jose Mourinho.
“Everyone has his option to play football the way they want, to say what they want to say. He’s not my friend, but he’s not my enemy. We have different ways of thinking about football. I think he only took charge yesterday, so probably we will see Tottenham playing in a similar way.”
West Ham’s poor run of results has coincided with the loss of first-choice keeper Lukasz Fabianski to injury, with Spanish keeper Roberto being thrust into the limelight.