Everton manager Ronald Koeman is hoping for a good reception from Southampton fans on Sunday… but is not expecting one.
The 53-year-old Dutchman spent two years in charge at St. Mary’s before leaving for the Toffees this summer, a move which angered many Saints supporters.
The Blues travel to the south coast for a Premier League match-up on Sunday afternoon and Koeman is hopeful that he’ll get the respect he feels he deserves from his former club.
“I hope they will respect me but of course, I understand the difference in opinions and reactions from fans and I’m not afraid of that,” he said.
“I cannot change opinions and feelings of Southampton fans. The last two seasons I had a great time and the club was very successful. I was part of that and I’m very proud of that and after my career I will look back with fond memories.”
The Everton boss believes he made the right decision to move to pastures new but is anticipating a tough game at St. Mary’s this weekend.
“Now I’ll be returning as the away manager for a difficult game,” he added.
“They need the points, we need the points too but of course, it’s special.
“I’m happy I made the decision to move because it’s a big club and a big project. Not an easy one but we are confident we can reach our goals.
“What happened in the past is in the past. It’s time to think about Everton, I made the choice to move and I’m very happy.
“They have a new manager now and that’s football. Managers and players change and it’s time to look forward.”