Reading boss Nigel Adkins says he'd never stab a rival manager in the back.
He was axed by Southampton on January 18 and replaced on the same day by Mauricio Pochettino.
Adkins himself then replaced Brian McDermott at Reading last month — and comes face to face with his Saints successor today in a massive relegation clash at the Madejski.
Adkins, 48, said: “The chairman told me I was out of a job and that was it.
“I know some people think I had been lined up by Reading to replace Brian McDermott but the first I heard of him going was when I got a text from a friend.
“In all the time I was out of work after leaving Southampton, I was never approached to take on another man’s job.
“You should always be respectful, although you have to be ruthless in this game at some level. Only 11 can play at any one time.
“When I was unemployed I went to Hamburg to see how they did things, went on a goalkeeping coaching course and spoke to rugby and cricket coaches, expanding my knowledge.
“I have a lot of respect for Brian McDermott and he is always welcome here. But things move on and we have implemented a lot of changes on the training ground.”