One moment you are preparing to watch your team in the FA Cup, the next minute you are masterminding a giant-killing.
Pete Wild was always supposed to be at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on Sunday, but in the Oldham away end rather than the Latics’ dugout.
The 33-year-old, who had a ticket for the FA Cup clash, was appointed Oldham’s caretaker manager on 27 December, after the club sacked Frankie Bunn.
Just 10 days later he led the League Two club to a famous 2-1 victory over the Premier League side, who are 59 places above them in the football pyramid.
“It is Roy of the Rovers stuff,” said Wild, who had been the club’s interim academy manager before his promotion.
“It is a remarkable transformation, but one I am going to savour, you have to savour these moments in life. I am the most proud man in Oldham, I can’t believe it.”
Wild, who attended his first Latics match 28 years ago, has been working at the club for more than a decade.
He has made an unbeaten start to management, with the FA Cup win his third straight victory after wins against Port Vale and Notts County lifted Oldham to 10th in the fourth tier.
Speaking before Sunday’s match, he said: “In the last 10 days things have changed dramatically for me. My first Oldham game was 28 years ago, on New Year’s Day. Now I’m the manager.”
Callum Lang scored a late winner to send Oldham into Monday’s fourth-round draw.
Lang headed home in the 88th minute, moments after Latics goalkeeper Daniel Iversen had saved a penalty from Fulham substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Oldham’s Sam Surridge had earlier levelled from the spot with 14 minutes to go to cancel out Denis Odoi’s opener for Fulham.
“It felt like an absolute lifetime,” Wild said, describing the last few moments of the game as his side held on for the win.
“I watched every second [of injury time] on my watch. You have to enjoy it, though, knowing as soon as the clock ticks down, hopefully we will get the right result.
“In a town that’s overshadowed by bigger clubs, it’s great to give something back.”
Oldham reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1990 and 1994, but lost to Manchester United on both occasions in replays.
Speaking about the fourth-round draw, Wild added: “I want Manchester United in the next round as in 1994 they ruined my childhood.”