It’s just over three years since Mauricio Pochettino’s dramatic first game at West Ham - and he knows exactly what our London derbies mean to fans.
Eric Dier became an instant hero on his debut when he slid home an injury time winner in Mauricio’s first competitive game in charge at Upton Park back in August, 2014.
He’s had highs and lows against the Hammers since, including a loss in our first visit to the London Stadium in May. We stormed into a Club-high second place in the Premier League last season with 13 wins in our final 14 matches - we all know where that one loss was...
Now we return to Stratford for a 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday.
“It’s a massive game for our fans and for us, of course,” said Mauricio after training on Thursday.
“A derby, just like when we play Arsenal or Chelsea, is not only a game. It’s more than a football game.
"It’s emotional, you play for your pride and we understand what it means for our fans - we share the same feelings.
“Then, in football, you can win or you can lose but to give your best is the principle condition when you play in a derby like this.”
Did he ever think back to that first game and Eric’s winner? “Yes, very good memories, 1-0 right at the end, Eric on his debut,” he said.
“It was a tough game and you start to feel what these games mean. It was so exciting to win.”
Look out for more from Mauricio on West Ham tomorrow...