West Ham boss Alan Curbishley expects Lucas Neill to receive a warm welcome from his former Blackburn Rovers colleagues when he returns to Ewood Park on Saturday.
Neill swapped Blackburn for the Hammers in January after rejecting the option to sign a new contract with the Lancashire club.
And although Curbishley expects the former Rovers skipper to be given a tough time from the home fans, he expects Neill's former team-mates to recognise the impact the Australia international had in his six years at the club.
"To a man they shook his hand when he left because his contribution was appreciated," said Curbishley.
"I'm sure he'll get a great reception from the players. Obviously fans see it differently and want players to stay at their club.
"It's a situation the clubs find themselves in when players are running out of contract and it just happens."
Curbishley has yet to decide whether Neill should retain the captain's armband for the trip to Blackburn despite the return from suspension of regular skipper Nigel Reo-Coker.