Steve McClaren admits he took a moment to take a trip down memory lane as he arrived at Pride Park to tie up the deal that would see him become manager of Derby.
The former England boss quickly emerged as the man the Rams wanted to succeed Nigel Clough, whose four-and-a-half year reign was brought to an end on Saturday evening as he was sacked just hours after the defeat to east midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.
Derby sought permission to speak to McClaren, contacting QPR where the 52-year-old had been working as a coach on a short-term contract since the beginning of July.
McClaren left London on yesterday morning to travel up for talks and arrived at Pride Park a little before 2.30pm to seal his return for a third spell at the club he served first as a player and then assistant to Jim Smith, whom he helped to guide Derby to the Premier League in the 1995/96 season.
''I felt excited in my car arriving at the stadium and once I got into the place the memories came flooding back,'' said McClaren.
''The first thing I saw was the portrait of Igor Stimac on the front of Pride Park so that was a great reminder of those great years we enjoyed back in the 1990s when we got promoted.
''Those were great days and this is a great club with fantastic fans, and that is what I remember.
''I was a player here, of course, and worked on the coaching staff with Jim Smith so I feel there is something special about the club.
''It was amazing to work under Jim Smith, so to come back in my own right as a head coach has something special about it and I am looking forward to the challenge.''
Less than three hours after his arrival McClaren had signed a deal until the summer of 2016 and added former Carlisle and Preston boss Paul Simpson as first-team coach and Eric Steele, formerly of Manchester United, as goalkeeping coach.
And, after reminiscing about the past, he then turned his attention to the future and was quick to point out that the work done by Clough and his team will aid him and his staff in trying to take the club to the next level.
''When I was here last time we achieved something and it was an exciting time for the fans and the area, and that is what our goal is now - to compete at that level again up against the best in the country,'' said McClaren.
''We want the stadium packed to the rafters playing Premier League football.
''We want to build initially on the good work that has gone already. You have seen all the young players that have gone through and that has got to be a credit to Nigel Clough and the staff and the academy.
''They have been bringing young talent through over the last three or four years. The club has stabilised itself after being in the Premier League and coming out, and they have been getting the finances in order.
''What we want to do now is build and develop from that. I am here for two-and-a-half years initially and we want to assess the situation.
''We want to keep the homegrown players coming through, build on the academy, and build an environment and culture for the players to challenge for a play-off spot, then eventually get in the play-offs and eventually then to be one of the contenders to go up into the Premier League.
''My job now is to take Derby County to that next level and we will all work incredibly hard to make that happen.''
McClaren will watch Derby's home Championship fixture against Ipswich tonight from the stands.
Academy manager Darren Wassall will take charge of first-team affairs for the match, but McClaren will be at the helm when Leeds visit Pride Park on Saturday.