Danny Simpson thought his United team-mates were pulling his leg when they told him he'd be handed a first Champions League start against Dynamo Kyiv at Old Trafford.
Simpson, who hopes to be involved again in Tuesday's clash with Sporting Lisbon, told Manchester United Radio of the moments leading up to his impressive showing on Matchday 4.
"At the pre-match meal some of the lads were telling me I was playing, but I just thought they were winding me up," he said.
"Then, 45 minutes before the match, the gaffer [Sir Alex] gave his team talk and I was in it. After that, he and Carlos [Queiroz] came up to me and told me to do my normal job and go out and enjoy myself."
That instruction was perhaps the easiest for Simpson to follow. Now 20, the Salford-born defender came into the United set-up when he was just 10 and has been eyeing a place in the first team ever since.
"I loved every minute of that match," he said, recalling the Reds' emphatic 4-0 win. "I was nervous for the first 10 minutes but then I settled down and I could relax and enjoy it. It was a good game to be involved in. Dynamo Kyiv aren't the best team in the group but we still needed the three points.
"I used to go to the stadium as a boy but to be there on the pitch and have everyone watching me is a great feeling. I've been here a long time and I'm finally on the fringes. I don't want this to go away. I'm loving it at the moment and I want to stick around for a long time."
With the Reds already through to the knockout stage and Sir Alex pledging to make changes, Simpson may be afforded another chance to impress on Tuesday night.
"The gaffer will want the team to bounce back from the Bolton loss with a good performance and whoever goes out there will want to win," Simpson said. "Hopefully I'll play some part in that. He gave a few of the young lads a chance to go out and prove ourselves last time and luckily things went very well."