Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler hopes Jimmy Ryan gets a good reception when he returns to Highbury with Blackpool tomorrow.
The 29-year-old was released by Town in the summer but made the short journey 10 miles down the road to Town’s League One rivals.
He has helped the Seasiders to 10th in the table and is expected to shake off a knock and start only the third league meeting between the two clubs.
Ryan featured for Fleetwood in the other two matches when they lost 1-0 at Bloomfield Road and drew 0-0 at Highbury in the 2015/16 League One campaign.
“I really hope he gets a good reception,” Rosler said of Ryan, who made 59 appearances for the club but missed most of last season with a foot injury.
“He is a terrific lad, person and a very good footballer.
“Sometimes you find out how much you miss him when he is not there any more.
“Last year he started the first part of the season, then broke his foot and we went on that 18-game unbeaten run.
“I still wanted to keep him and the club wanted to keep him.
“The club tried, I know what the club offered Jimmy; it was not enough and sometimes we have to accept that.”
Town will be boosted by the return of Lewie Coyle who was sent off in the FA Cup win at Chorley, while skipper Nathan Pond will face a late fitness test.
A niggle saw Pond left out of the squad for the 4-2 midweek defeat at Walsall.
Pond, as well as Ryan and Amari’i Bell, featured in both of the previous Fylde coast league games but also took part in the other competitive match between the two sides – the 5-1 FA Cup third round defeat in 2012.
For his part, Rosler has drawn on his experiences of the Manchester derby to spell out the importance of winning a game for the supporters, with a packed house expected.
He said: “We need to show the supporters that the team is fighting out there.
“We need to be sure that, together with our supporters, we make that occasion a home game, not an away game, and that starts with us doing the business on the pitch.
“That will then go to our supporters that we have a home game; that is the big message.
“I was fortunate to play in many derbies; the Manchester derby is probably one of the biggest in my opinion.
“I think you always get that little bit extra out of yourself, you know what it means first and foremost for yourself but also for the supporters.
“You feel obligated to give not only 99 or 100 per cent but 110 per cent and as long as you do that the supporters will be right behind you.”