In the twilight of your days, you will sit in front of an open log fire and children will sit at your feet looking at you longingly. If this is not illegal, they will be your grandchildren and they will ask you to tell the story, again, of The Miracle of Plainmoor.
As with all legends, you will embellish this story with every telling. You will tell of how Steve Maclean floated in mid-air, how the whole team was replaced after the originals were lost in the post and how Jack Midson recovered from a coma to win the game single handedly. Some of you will claim that you were playing in a holding role in midfield. Go on, admit it, you will. I will.
For the Miracle of Plainmoor to materialise, extraordinary things needed to happen. And that started with the 8 changes made by Chris Wilder. This, by accident or design created a world (or at least a game) where there was no expectation. There was no reference point (previous games, previous line-ups) by which we could judge the performance. All the pressure was off the players. As a result of creating this parallel universe, all the shackles of the season were released.
The genius of Chris Wilder?
This is not a stunt you can pull very often because to create an unreal world for the team to thrive in, you need a real world to continue to exist. If there was anywhere that a real world would exist it would be manifested in a trip to Aldershot. This is precisely the kind of game that would historically have brought us back down to earth. A win, regardless of how it was gained, shows that we seem to have shaken the panic that characterised November. The way we’re grinding out results in a gritty non-flamboyant way makes me think that we could actually be dark horses for the play-offs.
There. I’ve said it.