Jaap Stam is more hopeful of a “warm reception” than Reading getting a result when they head to the Dutchman’s former club Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The 44-year-old enjoyed three trophy-laden seasons at United from 1998 to 2001, and was a member of the Red Devils’ famous treble-winning side of 1999 as United brought home the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
He was then sold to Serie A side Lazio with reports at the time suggesting the decision was taken due to Stam criticising Ferguson and some of his United team-mates in his book, although Ferguson later clarified it was due to sporting reasons.
Stam believes he still has a good rapport with the United fans and is eager to be well-received at Old Trafford in what will be his first showdown with the club as a coach.
“I’m not expecting anything [from the match], to be fair,” the Reading boss acknowledged in his pre-match media conference.
“It would be nice to have a warm welcome. I had a great time over there. I’ve loved the fans, the club.
“It was a very important period in my career. I haven’t been back in an occasion like this. So it’s good to be back, it’s good to play over there.
“But it’s not about me, it’s about the team goes there and hopefully we can be a surprise.”