EVEN legendary status at Millwall did not spare Teddy Sheringham from the vitriol of the Den locals on his return.

So James Hanson could be in for a scary Halloween when City make the trip to the London docklands on October 31.

Millwall may revel in their notorious anthem “no-one likes us, we don’t care”, but they seriously don’t like being turned down – and will make that point vociferously.

Hence the stick meted out to Sheringham when he returned in opposing colours to face the club where he top-scored for four years and helped to reach the top flight for the first time in their history.

Never known for his pace, the striker was instantly heckled: “You’d be a good player if you got that ‘blinking’ piano off your back.” The barbed comments never let up throughout the 90 minutes.

Hanson can expect the same and a lot more after the on-going saga that has died down – for now at least – after he made it clear to Phil Parkinson last week that he wanted to stay.

Millwall clearly thought they had their man after a protracted bidding process. And while rookie boss Neil Harris moves on to alternative targets, the punters in the stands are unlikely to forget quite so fast.

Any lingering uncertainty for Hanson should have been dispelled by yesterday’s return to Apperley Bridge for the first day of the traditional pre-season slog.

The longest-serving member of Parkinson’s squad as he heads into his seventh campaign, Hanson also sits seventh in the club’s all-time goal-scoring list.

His tally of 74 is 12 behind third-placed Dean Windass, who believes that Hanson will not be affected by the transfer to-ing and fro-ing that has dominated an otherwise quiet summer.

Windass also feels that Parkinson has a key role to play in that process.

“I think it’s down to the manager and how he approaches James,” he said. “This is where man management comes into it.

“I had the same situation when I was at Hull and Martin O’Neill at Leicester came in for me.

“Terry Dolan was trying to sell me at the time but the deal fell through because the transfer fee wasn’t enough.

“Terry pulled me in to his office and told me to just focus on carrying on as normal and scoring goals for Hull City. Do that and things will pan out and you’ll get a move if you want. James has got to do that and just concentrate on the future. I’m sure the lads will have a bit of banter now they’re back at training but that shouldn’t distract him.”

Hanson, like Windass, came into the pro game late from non-league and the former Bantam talisman claims it was his nod that helped draw the lanky target man to the club’s attention in 2009.

Windass added: “I’m pretty proud of the fact that I put his name forward for Stuart McCall in the first place.

“Money was quite tight back then and Stuart had to look around carefully for players.

“I was living over Guiseley way and was watching them every Tuesday when I wasn’t playing. I said to Stuart that it was worth having a look at this lad.

“It’s a bit similar with what happened with me coming into the game from North Ferriby a bit late and it’s worked out just as well for James.

“From working in the corner shop he is now a £500,000-rated striker and has been the main target man at Bradford for a while.

“It probably took him two or three years to understand what professional football is like but you can see with him losing a lot of weight and things like that, the penny has dropped about what you have to do.

“I don’t know if he is disappointed or not about Millwall. That’s why it’s important that he has a good chat with Phil. Then it’s up to James to get his head down and begin preparing properly for the start of the season.

“Who knows what might happen. He could still get a move, if not soon then maybe in January.

“He’s got to show a good attitude and not sulk. You can rely on James to score 12 to 15 goals a season and he’s got to go out and do that again.

“If he does, then the Bradford supporters will be right behind him as they always are.”

While fans still wait impatiently for a first new face, Windass insists expectations of a serious play-off push are realistic.

“The FA Cup run was great financially for the club but the main priority has to be promotion.

“I’m sure they were disappointed not to make the play-offs last year and that’s what Phil will be stressing to the players now they are back in again.

“They’ve done very well in the last couple of seasons and the club are back on the map a little bit now. But it’s about taking it that next stage further.

“The Championship is a tough league to get out of but it’s even harder in League One. There are a lot of big clubs going down because of financial problems and the competition is fierce.

“But Bradford can rely on crowds of over 15,000 at Valley Parade and that should really help the players. Win your home games and it makes such a massive difference.”