Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has urged Fulham fans to give Jimmy Bullard a warm welcome if he makes a long-awaited comeback at Craven Cottage this evening.
Bullard enjoyed almost three years at Craven Cottage before moving to Hull City in January for a club record £5m fee.
Bullard’s Tigers debut ended in personal disaster when he was stretchered off after just 37 minutes when with cruciate knee ligament damage.
He has not played a competitive match since but scored a long-range opener in Hull’s 2-1 reserve defeat at Bolton in midweek, prompting suggestions that he may be in line to make his comeback tonight.
Gareth Barry, Carlos Tevez and Emanuel Adebayor have all been booed when facing their old clubs this year.
But Hodgson hopes Fulham fans do not hold any grudges against the midfielder, who turned down an improved contract to move to Hull.
”I would imagine that he will not get a bad reception but I don’t know how fans think in those areas,” Hodgson said.
”The game has changed enormously in that respect. In the past you wouldn’t have imagined it but these days you see Barry getting booed every touch he makes when playing for Man City against Aston Villa so who knows.
”I wouldn’t like to think that will happen though and certainly I would take no satisfaction from our fans doing that so I rather hope that they will give him a better reception.
”We live in a world where professional football involves players playing at a club and if something else comes along that they prefer then they will move on.
”Everyone accepts that and I think our fans in particular will not hold it against him that he left the club.”