“I really, really hope that when Christian steps on that pitch, or we announce his name, that we truly applaud him.”

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Thomas Frank said that Christian Eriksen should be given a warm reception when he returns to the Gtech Community Stadium.

The Denmark international, who made 11 appearances for the Bees during the second half of last season, joined Manchester United last month and is likely to line up against us on Saturday evening.

“We helped him, and he helped us,” said Thomas, when asked about Eriksen’s six months in West London.

“You could see his qualities in their last game. He was used as a ‘9’ and as a ‘6’. He’s a flexible player.

“His quality on the ball is key and we know we can’t give him too much time because he can see the ball between the lines, behind the lines and has the quality to put it there on a string for any player.

“Tomorrow, I’ll say hello, give him a hug and ask him how he and his family are doing. Then I look forward to us competing against him on the pitch. I’ll give him a hug after the game when hopefully we’ve got three points and he’s got zero! Let’s see!”

Manchester United fell to a 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening day of the season, but Thomas quashed any suggestions that we’re facing the Red Devils at ‘the right time’.

“In general, I don’t believe too much that there is a perfect situation to play them in, or a bad situation to play them in,” he said.

“They have a new manager, a brilliant manager. He’s done fantastic in his earlier jobs, so they are very interested in doing everything they can to make the manager a success, together with the players.

“They lost the first game. If you lose the first game, the most common response for a team that want to really improve and do well is to work even harder and do even better. It’s going to be extremely difficult.

“There is no doubt that Man United are the favourites - they can’t afford to not win against us tomorrow – but we’ll be doing everything we can and I believe we have a good chance. I believe it’s going to be a fantastic game in many ways. Do I believe we can do something? Yes.

“If we are brave and aggressive, pressing high, we will create chances against them, but we also have to be aware of their quality. We need to remember that any manager would be happy with [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Bruno] Fernandes, Eriksen, [Marcus] Rashford, and [Jadon] Sancho.”