An emotional Carlos Carvalhal declared himself the happiest manager in the world after receiving a very warm welcome from former club Sheffield Wednesday.
The Portuguese only left Hillsborough eight weeks ago by mutual consent but, in a classic twist of fixture fate, found himself back there with new club Swansea in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Given the circumstances perhaps a draw was appropriate, and the sides will have to try again at the Liberty Stadium in a week and a half after a game of few chances ended 0-0.
Carvalhal came out of the tunnel early and then applauded all four sides of the ground at the final whistle.
The 52-year-old, who twice led Wednesday into the Championship play-offs, said: “I almost cried after the game when two fans came to talk with me. It’s a very emotional moment.
“I must say thank you to Sheffield Wednesday for the way that the fans received me, the buzz in the stadium, the players, also the manager (Jos Luhukay), the staff, everybody. It’s the part that I love in football.
“I felt big recompense for everything I gave to Sheffield Wednesday and I’m very proud. It’s something I’ll never forget. I tried to concentrate on the things that I must do but I must tell you it was hard.
“To come back after five years or 10 years will be great. To come back after eight weeks and have this kind of reception makes me the most happy manager in the world.”
Both sides had one very good chance, with Kristoffer Nordfeldt keeping out
Adam Reach’s second-minute shot before Wednesday’s second-choice goalkeeper Cameron Dawson produced a stunning save to deny Mike van der Hoorn.
A replay was not the result either manager wanted, with Swansea now having been taken to a second match in all their three ties.
Carvalhal said: “It looks like that movie Police Academy - Police Academy 1, Police Academy 2 and we think we’re going to Police Academy 3 in this moment because it’s the third time.
“But it’s the reality and we still have an opportunity to stay in the cup so it’s nothing negative. Credit to Sheffield Wednesday, in the first 25 minutes they pressed us and created problems. At the end I think the result is fair and let’s go to another game.”
The only negative was a knee problem suffered in the warm-up by defender Alfie Mawson, who did not get the chance to impress watching England manager Gareth Southgate.
Carvalhal revealed Mawson felt his knee lock, an issue he has had before, but is optimistic he will be back very soon.
“I asked him after the game and he said the knee is much better,” said Carvalhal. “I don’t think it’s a big problem but let’s see if it’s a small problem or if it’s not a problem.”
Of Mawson’s England prospects, the Swansea boss added: “I don’t want to interfere in the work of my colleagues but I think they must look to him because he’s a top centre-back.”
A replay added another fixture to Wednesday’s hectic schedule but manager Luhukay was proud of his players’ performance.
He said: “We had a very strong beginning, we had a very good chance with Adam Reach. After that we played very good football I think. Swansea had one very good chance, and Cammie Dawson made a fantastic save.
“We stay in the FA Cup. Now we must go to Swansea and I know it’s a hard game for us but we must try to go a round further.”