Craig Levein insists he is hoping to be “roundly booed” by the Hearts fans when he takes his St Johnstone side to Edinburgh this weekend.
But he also admits he is looking forward to going back to Tynecastle and says it is still a place that is “close to his heart”.
The former Scotland boss spent 14 years at the Jambos as a player and another six during two spells as manager between 2000-2004 and 2017-2019.
Earlier this month he returned to the dugout for the first time since leaving Hearts four years ago when he took up the chance to replace Steven MacLean in Perth.
In his first two games he took four points with a draw and a win that got St Johnstone off the bottom of the table for the first time this season.
He is now looking ahead to a homecoming of sorts against Steven Naismith’s side on Saturday but is relishing a potential frosty reception from the home support.
He said: “I am hoping to get roundly booed, that would be good. Listen, I spent 14 years there as a player, four years as manager first time round, about four years as director of football.
“So I’ve spent over 20 years of my working career there and I have really fond memories of those times so I am actually really looking forward to going back to see Anne Budge and other board members.
“Picking up three points and moving St Johnstone up the table is the intention, it’s going to be a tall order by I feel our training over the last week has been good.
“There are some definite signs of improvement and understanding of the way we are trying to play so that has been encouraging.”
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