The man who saved Sir Alex Ferguson's job is now looking to lead United to another famous FA Cup triumph, but it is Scunthorpe rather than Manchester that Mark Robins is hoping to make history with this weekend.
Life might have been so much different at Old Trafford were it not for the home-grown striker's impact in a third-round tie at Nottingham Forest 26 years ago.
Reports were abound that the Red Devils' under-pressure manager Ferguson would get the sack if they had lost the tie - a fate avoided after Robins came off the bench to score a late winner.
The result gave Ferguson breathing space and the campaign ended with FA Cup glory - the first trophy of an unmatched, medal-laden spell at the helm for the Scot.
It is a period Robins clearly remembers fondly but this weekend is about the collective as Scunthorpe look to upset the apple cart at Stamford Bridge.
In one of the plum draws of the third round, the Sky Bet League One side make the trip from Lincolnshire to west London on Sunday to take on Premier League champions Chelsea.
It is a dream FA Cup tie for the Iron and one just as important for the town as the club.
The 3,000 travelling fans at Stamford Bridge will be hoping to see those dreams become reality, just like Bradford managed last season.
Their 4-2 comeback victory against Jose Mourinho's side was one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history, but Robins is not reading into it too much into the result - especially having seen flashes of a resurgence since Guus Hiddink's arrival.
"I've watched it and watched umpteen other Chelsea games and frightened myself to death," the Iron boss said.
"There are clear things that Bradford were able to do but this is a totally different game.
"We have to try to impose what we can on Chelsea. We must have quality in possession and make sure we are resolute and strong when we don't have it."