Now I have been the first to criticise the team I have supported since I was five years of age. We have had highs and lows during that time and I reckon that the lows have far exceeded the highs. In recent years it has been really tough being a Derby fan because despite new owners, new managers and new players we have continued to plunge down the league.
During this time we have suddenly had a remarkable run in the Carling Cup (the old league cup) because we have stumbled and stuttered to the semi finals. We almost lost to Lincoln City and then Brighton, Leeds played us off the pitch and we were then awarded a late penalty to beat Stoke City. In the league we are dropping like a stone so it was really disheartening to be drawn against the World Club champions Manchester United.
Let's face it they have at least two teams of international players who can run us off the park so tonight I watched behind splayed fingers. It did not happen! We at times played them off the park. If I had not known which team was which I would have thought that Derby were the better team. Our goalie did not have a difficult save to make and that was testimony to the defence. With twenty minutes to go they brought on Ronaldo and Rooney and then on came Carrick and remember Tevez, Anderson and Nani were already on the pitch.
To face this galaxy of stars step forward our back four, Andy Todd who never got a game under Paul Jewell and recently returned from a loan spell with Northampton Town.
Paul Connelly signed from Plymouth on a free transfer who has recently been injured. Lewin Nyatanga who came through the youth scheme at the club and at left back Camara who recently was on loan at Blackpool!
The real stars were however in midfield. Miles Addison who also came through the youth scheme was immense all night. He played Paul Scholes out of the game! Paul Green also dominated the midfield and badgered Anderson and Nani at every opportunity but the stars were Chris Commons, Stevie Davies and Rob Hulse.
If you were on another planet and saw the performance of Chris Commons tonight then you would be convinced that he played for the World club champions. Unfortunately he doesn't do it every week. Stevie Davies battled all night and showed that Paul Jewell was right to sign him from Tranmere. Rob Hulse at long last earned his transfer fee.
Nigel Clough, the new manager and son of the legend, must be pinching himself! How can this group of players be in the lower reaches of the Championship? He has inherited a squad of guys desperate to justify their existence. Somehow Paul Jewell could not motivate his signings but he did sign them. Tonight the Youth Academy director David Lowe did what Paul Jewell and Chris Hutchins failed to do - he achieved a miracle!
Perhaps the spirit of Brian Clough lives on! Oh I do hope so!