Chris Hughton will put aside the love affair of his footballing life today in an effort to kick start Norwich's Premier League season.
The Norwich City manager insists there is no room for sentiment when he takes his side to White Hart Lane, where he spent more than a quarter of a century as a player and a coach.
It is the first time Hughton has returned to Tottenham as a manager and all he wants is a first league victory of the season, following an opening 5-0 mauling by Fulham and a 1-1 draw against QPR at Carrow Road.
Hughton, who made 297 league appearances for Tottenham as a left full-back, said yesterday: "Apart from two and a half years when I was away I spent 28 years there, so it is a fair chunk of my life really.
"My feelings for that club will always be there. It will always hold a special place. I spent a lot of time there very happily as a player, as an Under-21 coach, as a reserve-team coach and as a first-team coach and assistant manager. But it doesn't affect my feelings going back on Saturday, a game I would like us to win and play very well."
Hughton has been active in the transfer window, bringing players to Carrow Road such as former Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong, winger Robert Snodgrass from Leeds and defensive midfielder Alex Tettey from Rennes. Tettey, a naturalised Norwegian who was born in Ghana, makes the trip to White Hart Lane and is likely to start from the bench, although after only three sessions he has already identified the biggest difference in training.
The 26-year-old, who tuned in to the Premier League every weekend in France, said: "In Rennes the team is more possession-orientated, we do quite a lot of stuff we have not done here, it is different. I just have to try to adapt very fast."
Hughton admits he was "very surprised" when Tottenham sacked Harry Redknapp and believes the pressure is on his former club, with new manager Andre Villas-Boas having sold midfield star Luka Modric to Real Madrid and having made big-money moves for such as Moussa Dembélé from Fulham in the transfer window.
Hughton said: "It's a tough job for the manager because expectations at Tottenham are high.
"After a period of years of always being an entertaining football team and finishing halfway in the division they've now had a number of years of competing at the top end. That's the standard they have got.
"They have accumulated a very good squad and there is pressure on them to sustain what they have achieved.
"But they have quality in wide areas in Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon. They have options up front and, with Dembélé coming in, they have gathered a very good squad."
Hughton admits to being happy with his own squad, even if he has found the last fortnight of the summer transfer window, with the new season already under way, too frantic for comfort.
"It's a system we could do without," Hughton said. "But the madness of the last couple of days won't change. We're all in the same position. Clubs are looking for what they can bring in and let go. It is not an ideal scenario but one you have to cope with."Reuse content