The evening might have ended in defeat for West Bromwich Albion manager Bryan Robson at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, but if Robson has managed to move a step closer in his bid to sign his fellow former Manchester United midfield legend Roy Keane, then it may not prove a totally wasted trip.
The limelight understandably centred on another United hero as the public mourning for the loss of George Best made for an emotional night. But the future of Old Trafford's second-most famous Irishman is still an issue And, a fortnight on from Keane's explosive departure from Old Trafford, Robson has now revealed that the former United teammates have spoken.
"I've inquired to Roy about what he has in his mind," said Robson. "At the moment, he's got loads of options available to him.
"Within a few weeks he will make a decision on which challenge he wants but only Roy Keane will be able to decide where that next challenge is going to be.
"All I can say is that I've spoken to Roy and he knows there is an option to come to this football club."
While Wednesday night's tough assignment ended in a 3-1 defeat that was, perhaps, inevitable, Robson at least has cause to look forward with a little more optimism to tomorrow's home league date with Fulham.
The 4-0 thumping of Everton, followed by last Sunday's 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough, has helped Robson's side escape the relegation zone and move to within three points of tomorrow's guests, the 14thplaced Cottagers.
Now Robson has the added advantage of being able to welcome back Kanu, who scored his first Albion goal against Fulham with a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw in last season's corresponding game.
Kanu, rested at Old Trafford, has looked right in the groove for the Baggies over the past two league games.
Robson admitted on Sunday that the promise he has shown alongside Nathan Ellington (who has now hit four goals in three games) could prove the goal-scoring strike partnership he has been desperately seeking and, with the Premiership clearly Albion's priority, he left Kanu out on Wednesday night purely as a precaution.
"For a forward player, and given the way Kanu plays, I thought three games in six days was too much for him," said Robson. "Especially when I have other strikers like Geoff Horsfield and Robert Earnshaw.
"He'd also had this niggling hamstring injury, so I didn't want to risk losing him for the weekend."
Steve Watson also seems set to win his fitness battle after limping off at half-time at the Riverside on Sunday with a damaged hamstring, following a heavy challenge.
"Steve should also be okay," said Robson. " He came through training today and hopefully there will be no ill-effects."
But it is still too soon for Albion's two key absentees, Chris Kirkland and last season's star man Zoltan Gera.
Kirkland sits out a seventh successive match following the bruised kidney he suffered in late October. But he could yet be back in contention for the home game with Manchester City on Saturday week.
"Chris has trained very well this week but he's still a little bit short," said Robson, of his 6ft 5in keeper. "He's only had four days' training which, for me, is not enough after the length of time he has been out.
"He'll have a full week's training next week and then Chris will be available for selection again." As for Gera, the Albion manager is not yet able to predict the Hungarian's likely due date to return from his recent surgery. "I haven't really put a date on Zoltan's return," said Robson.
"When you've had a double hernia operation, some players can come back quicker than others.
"Zoltan is a quick healer and is training very well at the moment but we'll gauge it day by day and see how comfortable he is feeling."