Tony Adams has revealed Portsmouth could have signed Hull's Brazilian star Geovanni on a free transfer 18 months ago.
Instead the new Pompey manager and his team have to face him and the rest of Phil Brown's Tigers at Fratton Park tomorrow, as they seek the first home win since Harry Redknapp left the FA Cup winners for Tottenham last month.
Adams said: ''Geovanni came on trial with us and played in a pre-season friendly at Yeovil.
''He looked good, scored a goal and was available but I think it was felt at the time we had enough in (that) position. Benjani and a few others were still here.''
Pompey instead signed David Nugent for £6million, plus Sulley Muntari and John Utaka for £7million apiece.
Geovanni joined Sven-Goran Eriksson at Manchester City where he scored in his first game at West Ham but made only four first-team starts before being released.
Now he has scored six times in Hull's fine start to life in the Premier League, two of them spectacular long-range strikes in wins at Arsenal and Tottenham.
And although they have lost three of their last four games, Brown's newly-promoted side are still confounding the doubters by standing sixth in the table.
Adams said: ''They've done fantastically well and Geovanni's obviously a quality player who needed time to settle into the game here.
''Hull have worked extremely hard and deserve the points they've got. They've spent some money and their position in the table doesn't lie. They are showing that clubs who use the little cash-injection they get when they come up can stay up.
''I think it was similar with Portsmouth. Money was spent, the team upped the work-rate through the roof and we've shown since that if you reinvest year on year, miracles can happen.''
Just four games into his Fratton Park reign, Adams is girding himself for some tough decisions in January, with 15 senior players out of contract at the end of the season - including skipper Sol Campbell.
Pompey's executive chairman Peter Storrie has insisted it will be purely down to Adams to choose who he wants to stay or leave, and he has already issued a hands-off warning to clubs who may be interested in signing England's Jermain Defoe and David James who are both on long-term deals.
But Adams said: ''I'll let Sol make his own decision on what he wants to do.
''I respect his judgement and although it cuts both ways with contracts, I wouldn't insult him by pushing him in either direction.
''I wouldn't know how many years he's got left as a player because I'm not in Sol's body. Only he can say how long he can go on - and I haven't heard him saying he doesn't want to keep playing.''