Gareth Barry is putting sentiment to one side as Manchester City look to clinch the Premier League title.
The Blues host QPR on Sunday knowing victory will give City their first league championship in 44 years.
Rangers need a point to secure survival and it was their manager Mark Hughes who signed Barry for City in 2009.
But the City midfielder told BBC Sport: "I'm hopeful they can stay up but we've got our eyes on the big prize - and that's beating QPR at the weekend."
If Bolton fail to win at Stoke then QPR will be safe even if City win, which would be the ideal scenario for Barry.
The 31-year-old England international won his first FA Cup medal with City last season and admits he is grateful to Hughes for making him part of the Blues' transformation, signing him for £12million from Aston Villa in July 2009.
Hughes was sacked five months later, taking charge of Fulham for the 2010/11 season before being tasked with keeping QPR in the Premier League in January.
"There are other teams you would have probably chosen to be playing to win the Premier League title," said Barry, speaking after donating kits to East Manchester Academy under the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme.
"I've got a lot of respect for Mark Hughes. He had faith in me to sign me three summers ago.
"They (City) were looking at players like Carlos Tevez and (Emmanuel) Adebayor, so for the manager to choose me as well, I was delighted to come and sign for him."
Hughes was replaced by Roberto Mancini in December 2009, and they have topped the table for most of the current campaign.
Both City and Manchester United have faltered during the run-in and, while a draw would hand United the chance to snatch the title, Barry has told his team-mates they should have nothing to fear.
"Before the season, if they'd have said you've got a home game against QPR to get three points to win the Premier League title, we'd have snapped their hands off to be in this position," he added.
"That's not saying it's going to be easy. In an ideal world, you'd have picked a team that's already safe and looking forward to their holidays but we're going to face a QPR team fighting for their lives.
"They need another point for survival, so it's going to be a really hard game. We need one more big effort from the players."