Stan has always had a bit of a soft spot for Nottingham Forest. They were such an incredible footballing force during those European Cup and league title winning seasons when Stan was but a lad.
It was impossible not to be slightly mesmerised by them and their achievements.
From Shilton to Robertson; from Francis to O'Neill, they were wonderful to watch and impossible not to respect. What Brian Clough achieved on a shoestring, at an unfashionable provincial club, was football alchemy and nothing less.
The swaggering brilliance of Clough was admired by a young Stan almost as much as the shiny silver Panini sticker of the Forest club badge!
Even the remarkable 6-2 defeat to a Keane- inspired Forest back in the late 80's failed to completely extinguish the embers of respect. (Stan can still shut his eyes and see Polston's own goal flash in!)
Having recently devoured the outstanding biography of Clough 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' by Duncan Hamilton, Stan's Forest sympathies have been rekindled.
Reading about Hamilton's daily dealings with the flawed genius of Clough has bought an even greater admiration of exactly what he achieved with little money and the demon drink tapping him relentlessly on the shoulder.
It was thus against this back drop that Stan allowed himself a little smile when Calderwood limped Forest back to the Championship last May. Somehow Stan feels as if Clough's legacy deserves to be more than having the club he steered from obscurity to European glory, scrapping around the bowels of the old Third Division.
As long as it's not at City's expense Stan wishes them well.
It was therefore with a tiny pang of sadness that we should meet Forest at this stage of the season, with them clearly in real trouble, and us looking rather less than the contenders Stan had hoped we would be.
When the fixtures first came out Stan eyed this fixture as a potential top six cracker, instead the week's build-up to the game has had a funereal feel about it. City even donned black to add to the solemnity of the occasion.
During the week past, the gnashing of discontent has grown louder by the day. Roeder had seemed intent on burning more bridges than a retreating Italian army and the old 'He's lost the dressing room…' favourite has done the rounds.
(Stan's always found this adage a bit hard to believe, surely if he had lost it, then one of those blokes in blazers could have pointed him in the right direction. It's not that difficult to find!)
At 5.15pm on Saturday City's chances of victory looked about as likely as Hell is to freeze over. Well oddly enough we did win and if not Hell, at least the A11 did freeze!
As you may be aware, Stan's predictive powers are.. How can it be put politely??. S**t? so you can imagine the immediate aftermath of Captain Doc's clumsy calamity.
'It's got 4-0 written all over it… we're as good as down…'
Well, true to form, Stan was wrong? very wrong. We didn't fold and we scored (sort of)? twice.
We scrapped and we battled, we reacted to the adversity of Doc's dismissal and Omozusi's departure with renewed tenacity and Marshall raised his game to the sort of level where you started to forget his recent indecisive, indiscretions.
The sense of exasperation you could feel cascading onto the pitch from the ranks of Forest fans, many of whom were weaned on the genius of Clough's sides, was worth two men to City. Like us, these fans have clearly been through the mill over recent years and their tether is clearly at full extent.
Stan greeted the final whistle as if promotion itself had been achieved. It was probably partly due to delayed shock at Pattison scoring as much as the three points, but whatever way you look at it, this was a potentially huge victory.
The real point to ponder in the short days prior to the Palace match (who incidentally Stan has absolutely no affection for!) is this; were we better than usual or are Forest just an even more flimsy version of ourselves? Stan reserves judgement; he likes sitting on the fence.
Somehow, Stan thinks that had a certain green sweat-shirted, football genius still been in attendance he would not have enjoyed what he saw?'Not one little bit young man…' and he, most certainly, wouldn't have been afraid to tell us so.