On August 17, 2010, a knot of reporters gathered outside the away dressing room at Trent Bridge, waiting for Ashley Giles to emerge.
It was 7.30pm and Warwickshire director of cricket Giles and bowling coach Graeme Welch had been in there for an hour with their team picking over a terrible day.
Bowled out twice by Nottinghamshire, the Bears had lost by an innings and 55 runs and looked nailed on for relegation.
Losing 20 wickets in a day was not just poor, it was embarrassing.
It had been a wretched summer for the Bears’ batsmen but these latest collapses, while far from the first, were the worst. Hence the post-match lock-in. Another one.
There were plenty that year as Giles and Welch attempted to shore up a crisis in batting confidence that had infected most of the squad.
So there were the journos, waiting in the corridor beneath dozens of portraits of ancient Nottinghamshire committeemen. “But what can he be saying that he hasn’t said before?” mused one of them (a journo, not an ancient Nottinghamshire committeeman).
Well, whatever it was, it worked. Spectacularly.
In the next match, Warwickshire hit back to beat Essex at Edgbaston – and they went on to pull off a remarkable escape from the drop. A great escape.
Still, most Bears supporters expected a grim battle against relegation the following season, only for the team to finish second in Division One, pipped for the title only on the very last day by Lancashire.
Then the following year – this year – they have been up there challenging all along and began the current match against Worcestershire at Edgbaston as Division One leaders.
It’s been quite a revival. And quite a story. And one that confronted Giles with some highly testing times in the formative years of his coaching career.
“It’s been a long road,” he said. “There were some dark days, most of all that match in Nottingham.
“I remember having the press conference at the end of the second day and it was probably my darkest day as a coach so far.
“But I think we always knew we were going to have some bad days. To make real progress sometimes you have got to be prepared to go back a bit to then go forward.
“There will always be a bit of peaking and troughing but we always felt the plan we had was the right one. Generally, when things do wrong in cricket, it’s because you have deviated from the plan.
“Even when we were struggling really badly that summer we felt that, beneath it all, we were going the right way.
“It’s worth recalling that the previous year Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott played a lot for us so that was 2,000 runs we had to find. Take two players of their quality out of any side and it will be a struggle. And it was.
“You can put as big a front on it as you want but when you keep going out and getting bowled out for 150 it does knock your confidence as a player and a team and as a coach. What got us through and kept us up that year was sticking to the plan.
“It would have been easy to throw the towel in and give it up for the last six games but we didn’t and that’s huge credit to these players. They dug in and showed a lot of character and fight.”
Those attributes, with a bit of talent thrown in of course, have powered Warwickshire into their current position whereby, with five games left, they have a real chance of bringing the championship to Edgbaston for only the seventh time.
“We have come a long way and have really grown into our skin in four-day cricket,” Giles said. “We have an exceptional bowling attack with some good all-round cricketers who are very disciplined.
“I think that’s the best thing about our four-day cricket. We have become a very disciplined side. Generally we have good plans for the opposition and bowl well to them and we scrap out big scores. We are difficult to beat.
“The other pleasing thing is that we are adaptable.
“At times a couple of years ago we played some very good games but we played them in a very set manner and if games didn’t go in that manner then we were thrown off course and struggled to come back.
“Last year and this year we have done well against good sides like Durham and Nottinghamshire. And this year at The Oval we handed some momentum back to Surrey but then wrested it back again and won the match.
“The players we have here are a very strong, resilient bunch. That makes them a pleasure to coach and also means you are going to win a fair few games of cricket.”