Former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn has called on the club's supporters to refrain from booing Jack Colback in this weekend's Tyne-Wear derby meeting against Newcastle United.
The 25-year-old made a controversial move to the Magpies earlier this year on a free transfer having spent 17 years at the Stadium of Light.
However, Quinn believes that, despite Colback's move causing real pain among the fanbase, there should be "no ill feeling" shown towards the player from the away section inside St James' Park on Sunday.
"I'm not in the club anymore but it hurt me," The Northern Echo quotes him as saying. "Jack would have been a prized possession of the academy and it just hurts to see it happen that way, but it's the rules, it's football. So there is no ill feeling towards Jack.
"Good luck to him, it would be difficult if he had played 10-12 years and headed off towards the end of his career but he was just becoming the player that we hoped he would. He has done great at Newcastle. He is a very important part of their team.
"He is not the type of player to court derision from the fans, he was such a hard working, fair, tidy individual, disciplined player, he was your 'Mr Dependable' at Sunderland. I wouldn't be inclined to encourage people to boo him or whatever, he found himself in a situation where him and his agent bailed out. Some of the diehard fans might not take the same approach."
Sunderland head into the derby meeting in 15th place in the Premier League table, while Newcastle have recovered from a slow start to climb up to eighth.