Mark Hughes pits his in-form Stoke side against former team Manchester City on Saturday insisting he bears no grudge against the club who ruthlessly dumped him nearly four years ago.
The Potters boss was sacked by City's current hierarchy in December 2009 despite a respectable record at the Etihad Stadium, to be replaced by a higher-profile manager in Roberto Mancini.
Spells at Fulham and QPR came and went without notable success before the Welshman took the reins at the Britannia Stadium.
His tenure began with a narrow defeat by Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League opener but wins over West Ham and Crystal Palace have ensured life in Staffordshire has begun on a positive note.
And the 49-year-old maintains he has no reason to seek revenge when his old club come to town this weekend.
"I enjoyed my time at Manchester City," he said. "Yes, it was difficult as it was a big time of change for the club, but I think I can look back upon my time there and be pleased with what we achieved.
"The season that I got the sack we had lost two games in 17, so it wasn't too bad.
"The owners wanted to make a change and bring in their own man, though, and that is football I guess."
Kenwyne Jones, Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters picked up knocks during the recent World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies - but Hughes has confirmed that all three are in contention to feature.
Deadline-day acquisitions Marko Arnautovic and Stephen Ireland could feature, with Marc Muniesa (groin) the only definite absentee.
City captain Vincent Kompany (groin) and playmaker David Silva (thigh) miss out.
Left-back Gael Clichy has also been ruled out with a minor knock while fellow defenders Micah Richards (hamstring) and Martin Demichelis (knee) are sidelined.
Striker Stevan Jovetic's involvement for Montenegro during the recent international break was curtailed by a hamstring problem but he is in contention to make his debut.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini wants to celebrate his 60th birthday in style - with victories in Stoke and the Czech city of Plzen.
City's new Chilean boss reaches the personal landmark on Monday, the day before his side open their Champions League campaign against Viktoria Plzen.
Prior to that they travel to the Britannia Stadium in the Barclays Premier League and back-to-back wins would put Pellegrini in the best mood for the upcoming derby clash with champions Manchester United.
Pellegrini said: "The best way to celebrate is to win against Stoke and then next Tuesday against Plzen in the Champions League, then we have the whole week to celebrate before we play against Manchester United."