Steve Bruce insists he wants his his former club Birmingham City to survive in the Premier League and overcome the huge hurdle of Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Bruce, who was boss at Blues for six seasons, insists he hopes his old club will maintain its top-flight status even though he remains at loggerheads with the Birmingham City board following his mid-season departure to Wigan Athletic.
The 47-year-old says he still holds Birmingham in high regard - after all many of the players inherited by Alex McLeish were actually players brought to the club by Bruce himself.
But he is still reeling over the very public way he was criticised by co-owner David Sullivan after his move to join Dave Whelan at the JJB Stadium in November.
Bruce said: "I would be pleased for Birmingham if they stayed up, absolutely. I would be happy for the players and the supporters, I brought the majority of the players there.
"I think everybody forgets we were in the Championship but I know for a fact that they are a really good young team.
"Sir Alex Ferguson said when we lost narrowly 1-0 to Manchester United earlier in the season that he felt that was arguably the best team I had had in six years, so I take no satisfaction out of seeing Birmingham in the trouble they are in.
"I had six wonderful years there and the supporters were great when you look at the whole scheme of things."
Bruce, who ensured Wigan's Premier League future with a 2-0 victory over his rivals Aston Villa last weekend, added: "Obviously, I don't want to see Birmingham relegated for the players that I took there."
But he said he was still bitterly upset at the way he felt his departure had been portrayed. He left for Wigan after concerns over his future at the time of the proposed Carson Yeung takeover and was later vilified by Sullivan and comapny.
Bruce said: "The press have had a field day on what has been said, I have tried to keep my own counsel and I'm not going to stand here and gloat on it, that's for sure.
"But I was bitterly disappointed and upset at what went on and maybe one day I will tell my side of the story completely. I don't think it's right to do it now.
"I am more delighted for my chairman at Wigan that I have kept them up because he obviously wanted me badly enough to pay £3million and I am glad I am now able to repay his faith in me and the fact he felt that I was a decent manager.
"Some of the comments after I left Blues, I don't think needed to be said but there you go. It did upset me but the one thing when I do get upset, I come back roaring usually.
"The whole thing of leaving galvanised me to say 'Well here's a challenge'. Sometimes, familiarity does breed contempt and you can overstay your welcome and there was the disappointment of a relegation but if you look at my record there then it stands with anybody's."
Bruce said having had such a successful career as a player had made him want to do well in management. He added: "Everybody associates me with Manchester United and success but the one thing I'm not frightened to do is roll my sleeves up and have a go and that's the way I approach management.
"I haven't really won much apart from a couple of promotions but keeping Birmingham 12th and tenth and 13th, which I did, I do believe is a decent achievement. My last game at Birmingham was when we were going into the Villa game. We lost in the last minute 2-1 and we were 12th going into that game, so I take no satisfaction, believe me.
"The players will have felt so low after last week's defeat at Fulham but there is still a twist in it because it's gone to the wire."
And rounding off with a tongue-in-cheek poke at his former employers and the man they chose to replace him, Bruce, who landed a £1 million bonus for saving Wigan, added: "I saw Birmingham the other day and I've seen comments...I'm not going to go there.
"Six or seven were playing [well], six or seven weren't playing well. Maybe if they had been, they might be in a different position. I don't know. But he's a better manager than me..."