Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he was both surprised and saddened by the news that Jose Mourinho had been sacked by London rivals Chelsea, saying that the departure of the outspoken 52-year-old was a big loss for the Premier League.
Mourinho, who had won three Premier League titles in his two stints in charge of the Blues, was dismissed on 17 December with Chelsea languishing in 16th place, just one point above the relegation zone.
Speaking ahead of Spurs' away clash at Southampton on 19 December, Pochettino said he was sorry to see the Portuguese manager go.
"I am very surprised and very sad. I think it's a big loss for the Premier League. I have a very good relationship with him and it's a difficult moment for him," he said.
"It is difficult to give my opinion about a different club. The only thing I can say is I'm very sad and I'm very shocked, because yesterday was a big surprise for me like it was I think for all.
"They are the current champions and last season Chelsea was the best team. It surprised me but in football, it's all run quick in this present [time]. But all my solidarity with him," added Pochettino.
Whilst Chelsea toil away towards the bottom of the Premier League, Spurs harbour hopes of securing a lucrative top four position that appears within grasp. The north Londoners currently reside in 5th place, three points behind 4th-placed Manchester United.
Tottenham travel away to Southampton this weekend, while managerless Chelsea are at home to fellow relegation-strugglers Sunderland.