Curtis Davies could not have had to suffer a much more daunting start to his Premiership career.
West Bromwich Albion's latest signing was still a year away from his league debut the last time Sunderland so much as picked up even a point in the Premiership.
So when a team as poor as Mick McCarthy's Mackems have you fishing the ball out of the back of your net inside seven minutes, you have every right to expect a trying afternoon.
But, thanks to Zoltan Gera's injury-time equaliser, Davies's first afternoon in an Albion shirt ended happily.
He had almost even capped a confident debut by marking it with a goal. But Davies was pleased simply to have taken his first steps in the top flight of English football.
"I know it's a cliche", said the 20-year-old Essex boy. "But this really is a dream come true.
"Last year was my first season. Now I'm playing in the Premiership. You don't dare think about things like that.
"I'd known for a week I'd be playing, so I wasn't nervous. I just tried to stay focused and be confident in my own game.
"The pace the game went at for the first 15 minutes was frightening.
"I don't know if that was also because I hadn't played for three weeks. But, once I'd settled down and got my second wind, I was just happy I'd got my first game under my belt and have done enough to stay in the team.
"You can only play against who's put in front of you.
"And once they'd got that first goal, they didn't seem that bothered with getting another. All they seemed interested in doing was knocking long balls.
"They were limited with their chances. They didn't seem to have a different route.
"When teams are just trying to lump it, I don't like it. I prefer games of football. But we just tried to deal with it and carry on playing our football."
Davies's manager Bryan Robson was certainly pleased with his record purchase.
"I couldn't have asked any more for a lad making his debut in the Premiership," said Robson. "Especially after going a goal down in the first ten minutes.
"It's difficult when you're chasing a game and trying to get back on it.
"Defenders don't get too much protection and can get caught with a lot of one-on-ones.
"But Curtis didn't show any nerves and handled it all really well."
Davies was just as relieved as his boss not to end up on the losing side.
"It would have been frustrating," he said. "These are the types of team we need to beat.
"But you can never consider it two points dropped when you come away from home and equalise in the last minute. We're going home happy.
"Three defeats in a row are no good to any team, especially one that's down there, and we didn't want a fourth."
Davies, who had scored only his second goal for Luton in his final appearance for the Hatters against Millwall the day before he became a Baggie, was close to being the late hero himself.
"I got good pace on the ball with my header," he said. "But apparently the corner went out and came back in and if my header had gone in and it had been disallowed, I'd have been devastated.
"Mind you, after finishing off with one for Luton, if I had scored again, they'd have been saying I was a prolific scorer!"