Gloucester centre Jonny May has revealed that Bryan Redpath's departure last season did affect the club.
Redpath will for the first time since quitting the Cherry and Whites when he takes his Sale side to Gloucestershire.
"We tried our best for the end of the season but it did affect us as a group," he told BBC Points West.
"We've come together strong this season with new management and players and really put a good few games together."
Former Scotland scrum-half Redpath has not enjoyed his return to the club where he spent five years as a player, having been moved on from his position as director of rugby after losing his first seven Premiership games in charge.
He has since been given the role as head coach at the Salford City Stadium working more with the club's back-line as chief executive Steve Diamond took control of first-team affairs.
Gloucester appointed former Wales and Llanelli centre Nigel Davies as Redpath's successor and the former Scarlets head coach has made an impressive start guiding the club to third in the Premiership.
"Obviously we'll want to show we're better than where we were last year, and 'Brushy' [Redpath] is going to want to come and show that he's now with a team that can now beat us, so it is going to be a spicy game I think," May added.
"I think everybody is happy with what happened, and I think what happened was the right thing for the club as well.
"I imagine the shed will be as loud as ever, I'm sure it won't be malicious but I'm sure there will be quite a lot of banter going around the ground.
"Brush is a good bloke and he was a good coach for us. He left on good terms with all the players as far as I'm concerned."
Meanwhile fly-half Freddie Burns has won the Premiership player of the month award for October after a string of impressive performances.
"It's always nice to get some recognition for what's been a relatively decent start to the season for Gloucester and myself," he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
"It's really a team effort, I don't see it as an individual award. They've put me in the areas to play the game that I like to play."