Steve Bruce believes Sunderland fans would be playing into Hull's hands if they focused their efforts on making his return to the Stadium of Light an uncomfortable one.
Bruce was sacked as Black Cats boss in November 2011, leaving the club with few supporters in the stands.
His lifelong allegiance with rivals Newcastle may not have helped, but his assertion that it scuppered his reign from the start did not go down well with the Sunderland faithful either.
He is braced for hostility when he takes the Tigers to Wearside on Saturday, but feels that could make life easier for his players.
Although a childhood Magpies fan, Bruce was booed when he took Hull to Newcastle earlier this season - an inevitable consequence of his Sunderland past, but also a milder version that he expects at the weekend.
While Sunderland fans will surely oblige Bruce by casting him as the villain of the day, he is less interested in the subject that he once was.
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