Former Tottenham midfielder Micky Hazard has called for a classy reception for Mauricio Pochettino when he returns to his old stomping ground on Monday night.
The ex-Spurs boss has taken on a rebuilding project at Chelsea and will face his former club for the first time since being sacked in 2019.
And Hazard — who left the North London club for the Blues himself in 1985 — believes fans should remember the excellent job the Argentine did under Daniel Levy.
Speaking to PA, he said: “When Pochettino comes back and while the rivalry is that much greater nowadays, I think it is important as a fanbase we rise above it.
“We can show dignity and class by welcoming him back — not giving him a guard of honor as Ange (Postecoglou) says but when his name is read out, to give him a round of applause as acknowledgement and recognition of what he achieved.
“Then we go out and try to win the game and Poch is the enemy then, but ultimately we have to respect the job he did.
“I for one will certainly give him a round of applause when his name is read out.”
Pochettino captured some of Tottenham’s best days in the Premier League era, leading them to a second-placed finish in 2017 before making it to the Champions League final in 2019.
Reports suggested that he was open to a return in the summer after Antonio Conte’s dismissal, but Levy opted for Ange Postecoglou instead.
Hazard added: “It feels like the players have all been given the freedom of expression within the framework of what Ange wants.
“What Ange has managed to do is introduce a style where the players enjoy playing to that style.
“There are smiley, happy faces on the pitch and we’re playing smiley, happy football, so they both go hand-in-hand and for me it is a joy to watch.”