RALPH Hasenhuttl has piled the praise on ex-Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at White Hart Lane.

Pochettino left the St Mary’s side to join Spurs back in 2014 and guided them to the Champions League final last season.

Hasenhuttl said: “Last year he wasn’t allowed to sit on the bench which is maybe the reason why we could take the three points.

“It was an unbelievable game from us. I didn’t know how we could end up winning this game because in the first half they should have been four goals up.

“If you want to take points against such a team then you need to have a nearly perfect performance and even then, you are not sure.

“I think he has done a fantastic job in Tottenham and took them from being a struggling team to Champions League finalists. It’s unbelievable the job he does there.

“We don’t look too much on them because I think it’s important for us to concentrate on the qualities that we have.

“We know that it’s a big challenge, but we like these challenges. “

Despite sitting seventh in the Premier League table, Spurs are deemed to be teetering on a crisis after winning just once in their previous six matches.

This includes throwing the lead away - and losing - against Arsenal, Olympiacos and Leicester in recent weeks.

Although this could be a great chance for Saints to get something from tomorrow’s match, Hasenhuttl is all too aware of being complacent.

“It’s like a boxer when he is knocked a little bit, they are always more dangerous so pay attention,” added the Saints boss.

“This team with this quality showed it against Crystal Palace, where they lost the game before and were then unbelievable at home.

“It’s never an advantage against a big team if they are struggling because you always need to be aware of the quality they have.

“We expect the most difficult opponent you can imagine.”

You only have to go back to last weekend to see an example of one of the Premier League’s top sides showing a response.

Manchester City’s 8-0 thumping of Watford last weekend came on the back of a shock defeat to newly-promoted Norwich.

“I hope it won’t be like that,” joked Hasenhuttl when asked about the prospect of a fired-up Tottenham.

“It’s on us and how we believe in our qualities and how we learn to compete in away games against big teams.

“Last season we have a good game against Chelsea in London and then a good game at Manchester United.

“We know how to play against big teams and it isn’t easy.”