Friends reunited for Jordi
5th October 2013
Jordi Amat hopes to get one over on the man that gave him his big break in football when the Swans visit Southampton on Sunday (1.30pm).
Amat was just a teenager when current Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino handed him his debut at Espanyol.
Then just 17, Amat would become a regular under the Argentinian before the centre-back left for a loan move to Rayo Vallecano and Pochettino took up his new role with Southampton.
This weekend sees the pair on the opposite sides as Michael Laudrup's side head to St Mary's looking to claim their third consecutive win on the road in the Barclays Premier League.
And Amat is looking forward to meeting up with his former boss.
"It will be great to see him on Sunday and have a talk about things," said Amat, who has started the last three games.
"Mauricio was my manager at Espanyol, and he's the person who gave me my big chance.
"I really appreciated it because I was just 17 at the time, so it was a big opportunity for me and a big decision for him.
"I had been training with the first team for a month because there were a few players injured, but he put me in the team.
"It was my dream to play in the top division in Spain, and he allowed me to do that."
Amat believes there are a number of similarities between his current boss and former manager.
Laudrup and Pochettino have gone up against each other during their time in La Liga, while last season's encounter between the Swans and Southampton ended 1-1 at St Mary's.
"He is very similar to Michael. They are very calm managers who do not need to be shouting on the touchline," added Amat. "They both want their teams to play football.
"I think everyone has seen Swansea play great football while Southampton are playing really good football too.
"I spoke to Mauricio before I came to Swansea. He told me it was a great opportunity and a chance to experience a different culture and league.
"And I must say he was absolutely correct."
While Amat looks forward to a friendly reunion on Sunday, he admits there's little room for sentiment when both teams take to the field.
"He has done a great job for Southampton but I'm not surprised at that," added Amat.
"This season they have started very well and, of course, they have signed Dani Osvaldo, who is a former team-mate of mine at Espanyol.
"But it's an important game for us and we are looking to pick up another away win, so I will wish him all the best for the season after Sunday!"