New coach Ufuk Talay says Wellington Phoenix fans can boo his predecessor, Mark Rudan, when the pair face off from opposing benches this weekend but only if they do it the right way.
Talay takes charge of an A-League team for the first time on Sunday as his new- look Nix begin their campaign, while opponents Western United will take their professional bow under the direction of Rudan.
The two are mates and former Sydney FC teammates.
Their friendship will be the eye of the hurricane at Westpac Stadium, where animosities abound.
Chief executive David Dome said this week Nix fans "hadn't bought" the family reasons Rudan cited in leaving Wellington last season.
He signed with Western three weeks later, with captain Andrew Durante, star goalkeeper Filip Kurto and Max Burgess joining him.
Still, Talay hopes Phoenix fans attending Sunday's clash afford Rudan a fair welcome.
"They can still end up booing because he's not in the same colours but they still need to respect what he's done," he told AAP.
"That's a decision that they need to make.
"Mark coming back in round one is good. It's good for the competition ... for the A-League. I think it's good for the fans to turn up.
"I'm sure the fans will have respect what he achieved last season as well."
Talay has bigger things in mind than Rudan's reception, like engineering a first-up victory after mass player turnover.
In his last pre-season hitout last weekend - a 2-0 win over a local representative team - Wellington's starting XI contained just three players from last season.
The 43-year-old said his squad was still missing one player - and again, it was Western who beat him to a punch.
"The window closes on the 15th October and I'm looking at a striker. Hopefully we can get this sorted sometime this week," he said.
"We spoke to Bes (Besart Berisha).
"(Western United) offered him a two year deal so why would he turn that down?
"You always have plan A, plan B and plan C. We'll see what comes to fruition."
In addition to Rudan, Talay counts Tony Vidmar, Steve Corica, Graham Arnold and Ange Postecoglou as friends and influences in the game.
He's likely to run a 4-2-2-2 formation as favoured by Arnold, unleashing Mexican talent Ulises Davila as the key midfield link.
Talay said Postecoglou left a particular impression after inviting him into Socceroos camps during Talay's time as junior national boss.
"We want to be a team that when we have the ball, to play football and good football where the players actually enjoy the game," he said.
"Football is a spectacle."