Chris Coleman has urged Fulham fans to greet Sean Davis with hostility when the former club favourite returns to Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Davis – a product of Fulham’s academy system – joined Tottenham during the summer, enraging Cottagers supporters who saw the move as another slap in the face following his failed bid to join Everton almost a year earlier.
The Clapham-born midfielder’s dream transfer to Goodison had been called off by the Toffees on medical grounds and he was forced to return to south London, where Coleman welcomed him back into the fold.
But despite pledging his allegiance to the Fulham cause once again, the restless 25-year-old handed in another transfer request in July and was snapped up by Jacques Santini’s Spurs.
Davis faces his former club for the first time when Spurs travel across the Thames for the Barclays Premiership showdown against their London rivals – and Coleman hopes a frosty reception is waiting for him.
“I don’t want the crowd to give him a welcome back. He’s a good player and a dangerous player so I hope they make him feel uncomfortable, or just ignore him,” said the Fulham manager.
“He did really well for us and has done well since he’s been at Tottenham. If he plays tomorrow no doubt he will be a threat.
“But I don’t think about the opposition, especially players who have been at the club because my team will already know about him.
“Sean’s name hasn’t even been mentioned in the build-up to the match.”
Injuries and suspension have hit Fulham hard this season and the news that Holland goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is out with a back problem would usually be greeted by a grimace from Coleman.
But second choice stopper Mark Crossley gave such an inspired display in the 1-0 Carling Cup victory over Birmingham in midweek that Coleman would have omitted van der Sar from his starting line-up anyway.
He said: “I’ve always said if people play well they keep the jersey and Mark played very well on Wednesday. If I didn’t keep him in the team it would make me a hypocrite, so he will start.
“But Edwin has picked up a knock anyway so that decision has been taken away from me anyway.
“Edwin was in the gym working out and his back stiffened up.
“Injuries are the trend at this club at the moment.”
Crossley made his second start of the campaign against Birmingham – equalling his entire appearance tally for Fulham last season – and Coleman was gushing in his praise of the Welsh international.
“Mark has been superb. He’s never knocked on my door when we’ve been conceding goals and asked what’s happening. He’s worked hard in training and kept his mouth shut,” he said.
“He has a big influence on the squad and he’s very popular. The lads respect him because of his attitude and the way he goes about his business.
“I was delighted with him on Wednesday night because he’s kept quiet, come in and taken his chance. Good for him.”