Alan is, of course, aware of the hype - some would say exaggerated - leading up to the game, but shrugs:
"There's not much I can do to control that; as far as I am concerned it is about the two teams and I am very much the West Ham manager looking to get a win for the West Ham public."
Reading chairman John Madejski has made some conciliatory statements this week and insists West Ham will be treated as guests to the stadium.
"I think that would be just right and I am hoping that is the case," says Alan.
"I certainly don't want to distract my team's focus from what this is, a game of football.
"We need to get a win on the road after two bad results away - and, quite frankly, not our best performances either.
"We need to put in a performance away from home and get back to what we have been doing - getting results on the road, which we have done consistently well all season.
"I am looking forward to going back, I have got many friends that I made there, and I am looking forward to seeing them."
* You can see Alan on Football League Review, Sky Sports 1, 7:30 pm Thursday evening.