Gary Rowett admitted that he expects a sour reception from traveling Stoke fans when he leads Millwall out at The Den for the first time on Saturday. 

The 45-year-old was sacked by The Potters in January after a run of poor form which deteriorated his popularity with fans and ironically his first game as Lions boss is against his former employers. 

“Probably the sort of reaction they gave me when I was there manager for the last three games – a negative one,” Rowett said when asked what kind of reception he will get from Stoke fans. 

“I am aware of the expectation of what we wanted to produce while I was there. From our point of view did not live up to that expectation. Whether that was realistic or not is for other people to say.

“Any away fan is going to try and get a rile out of anyone. They are going to try but it will make no difference to me what so ever.” 

“I always think when the opposition sings about the opposition manager, they are not helping their own team so it is fine by me.”

Stoke find themselves level on points with Barnsley at the bottom of the league but Rowett reiterated that their recent form does not portray the quality they possess. 

“We are focused on what we are going to do, we are focused on how we are going to try – I say try because we are up against a good team – to win the game.

“You always know the strengths of the opposition, but it is a home game for us so it is about us focusing on what we want to be good at and us focusing on what we do and it is about us being really positive to try and cause them a problem.” 

Rowett however, is not the only one making a return against his former club as former Millwall striker will return to The Den for the first time since his departure in the summer. 

Gregory made over 200 appearances for the Lions, and despite a slow start for Stoke the forward’s form has picked up in recent weeks. 

“I have been here around the Championship for a while, Lee is a good player,” Rowett said. 

 “He is held in high regard by everyone at the club. Everyone knows he going to be running around for his life and trying to prove a point but that is just the type of player he is. We will be wary of him and lots of their players.”