The Birmingham City manager says he cannot take any satisfaction from the plight of his club's rivals.
Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett has told Sky Sports that he knows the club's supporters will be delighted by Aston Villa's relegation, but admits he personally cannot take any satisfaction from their demise, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail.
Villa just about clung on to their Premier League status thanks to Norwich City's defeat at Crystal Palace at the weekend, but their inevitable relegation to the Championship will be confirmed if they fail to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Rowett was born in the local area and though there have been suggestions he grew up as a Villa fan, he spent two years with the Blues as a player before taking over as manager in October 2014.
However, despite his association with the blue half of Birmingham, the 42-year-old boss has revealed that he will not be joining the club's fans in revelling in the fall from grace of their arch-rivals as he never likes to see a "proud club" experiencing hardship.
Rowett, whose Blues side lost 1-0 to Villa in a Capital One Cup tie in September, told Sky Sports, according to quotes published by the Birmingham Mail: "There are loads of jokes going around but I can't personally take any satisfaction. I know some of the fans will I am sure.
"You never want to see a proud club struggling, I saw the same with Derby County when they had their season in the Premier League. As a person who lives in the area it was not nice, a really painful season.
"What you hope is that any club that experiences that is able to come back a little bit stronger, because it's a difficult slope. If you do end up in the Championship - to get back and not continue to slip a little bit more. Hopefully they will get that back."
Villa's season has been utterly miserable, with the club winning just three of their 33 Premier League matches, as many managers as they have had in the same period after Eric Black took over on a temporary basis following the sacking of Remi Garde.
With their relegation having appeared certain for months, there has been no improvement in recent weeks, and for many fans it will come as a mercy when their fate becomes official.
That is likely to be at Old Trafford, with Villa needing three points at a ground where they have only won once in the league in the last 33 years.