David Unsworth has a unique symmetry in the history of Sheffield United as he begins helping to plot a bright future for the Blades.
The former Everton full-back scored the goal that got United promoted to the Premier League at the end of the 2005-06 season.
Twelve months later, he returned to Bramall Lane to score the penalty for Wigan Athletic that ultimately condemned the Blades to the drop.
United have not been back to the ‘promised land’ since.
Unsworth returned to the club in December to work as head of Academy coaching and this week he answered the call from his youth-team manager Chris Morgan to help him revive the Blades’ season.
Unsworth will serve as Morgan’s assistant for the final five, seven or eight games of the season, as the Bramall Lane club seek to complete the job Danny Wilson started, by winning promotion. For the 39-year-old one-time England international, the opportunity to play another role in the history of the Blades was too good to turn down.
“Every time I see (owner) Kevin McCabe, he reminds me of that penalty for Wigan and clips me around the earhole,” joked Unsworth.
“But then I always tell him it was me who scored the goal that got them promoted. He seems to forget about that one.
“But it’s a real privilege and honour to be asked to help Morgs get this club back into the Championship, and, hopefully, one day back into the Premier League where they belong.”
If Morgan is a novice at senior team management, Unsworth did at least experience a taste of being the top man in the dugout when he was at Preston, filling in on two occasions between managers in the past two seasons of turmoil at Deepdale.
He lost his job when Graham Westley was appointed and was appreciative of deposed Blades chief Wilson returning to the club on Thursday morning to wish his former coaches and players well.
On the challenge facing the Blades, particularly reviving their flagging home form, Unsworth said: “It doesn’t need major surgery, the players have to remember they’re top of the league for a reason, they’ve been consistent throughout the season.”