Former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman says he is unsure of the reaction he will receive on his first return to St Mary’s with new club Everton on Sunday.
Koeman spent two successful seasons with Saints before departing for Goodison Park, where he was followed by assistant Erwin Koeman and fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg.
The Toffees arrive on the south coast five points above Southampton after 12 matches played, but their form has dipped of late with one win from their previous seven Premier League games.
The Everton boss admits however, he doesn’t know what reception he will receive on his return to St Mary’s.
“I don’t know, I cannot change opinions and feelings of the Southampton fans,” he said.
“I hope that they will respect me, we had a great time and after my career I will look back and I had a great time over there.
“I understand different opinions, different reactions, I’m not afraid of that,” he continued. “But it’s time to think about Everton, I made the choice to move and I’m really happy with what I’m doing at Everton. We know it’s a big club with big history.”
Saints host Everton for their third game inside a week having played out a goalless draw with Liverpool and suffered a narrow defeat against Sparta Praha in the Europa League on Thursday, a competition which Koeman helped his former club get into.
“What happened in the past is the past,” said the Dutchman. “I have a good feeling about what happened at Southampton the last two years – but they have a new manager. That’s football, managers changing, players changing, now it’s looking forward and see what’s the best you can do.
“Managers change, players change and now it's looking forward. I think that's the best thing you can do.
“I and the rest of the technical staff, we had a great time over there, but I'm the Everton manager, we play away, a difficult game.
“They need the points, we need the points, but of course it's special because the last two seasons I had a great time, the club was very successful and I was part of that and proud about my period in Southampton.”