What a night under the lights at Bramall Lane! An expectant sell-out crowd. An opposition set up to defend and frustrate. A tense first half. And then, through patience and persistence, with a touch of Premier League quality, the breakthrough. And from that moment on, nothing ever looked to be in doubt.
The party atmosphere was augmented by a second goal 15 minutes from the end, and after that, it was just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s as we cruised to a victory and promotion back to the Premier League.
And then one big party for the 30,000 fans in the ground. I would have loved to have been there. There were a few tears last night and actually some mixed emotions. Sure: joy, relief, pride, but also a tinge of sadness, as well. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s missing out on these sort of shared moments that make me most homesick, even though I’ve been here for almost 20 years now.
But, what a night. What a team. What a club.
The Premier League is going to be a massive challenge – more so than maybe ever before – but with that combination of youth, experience, team spirit and those fans, I know we’ll give it our best shot.