ALL routes led to Sheffield as we crossed the snowy Pennines, courtesy of East Midlands Trains.

We were joined by a Sunderland fan on his way to Nottingham Forest and i was refreshing to hear his pessimistic views of Sunderland as they are about to lose their loanee and top goalscorer, Lewis Grabban.

I love going back to Sheffield, the city where I was a student in the days of Tony Currie and Alan Woodward.

After a brief stop at the Sheffield Tap to get our bearings, we found we couldn’t resist the offer of ‘Real Ales, Real Food and Real People’ at the Roebuck Tavern for lunch.

Hopes were not high as we were still on a downer after our miserable Middlesbrough performance.

But Sheffield United are a big, physical team and that is usually one area in which we can match teams.

We were stunned when the teams were announced – Phil Parkinson had made lots of changes.

Whether he wanted to look at squad players he needs to make decisions on or it was an attempt to freshen things up a bit doesn’t matter, we felt he was giving it a go. Maybe we could get something from this match.

The team were up for it from kick off and were generally in control throughout.

Ben Alnwick didn’t have a serious save to make all match.

The deciding move came when the outstanding Antonee Robinson crossed for the goal machine, Gary Madine to tap in for a marvellous Millennium moment, our first away win in the championship for 1,000 days.

We hung on confidently for six additional minutes to secure a well-deserved victory.

It’s not easy being a Bolton fan – up one week, down the next and up again the week after.

We’re winning matches we don’t expect to and losing matches we shouldn’t, but that’s the beauty of football.

We’ve given ourselves a chance of survival as we are catching the pack and we can do ourselves a big favour by beating Hull City on New Year’s Day and go above them.

It’s the time of the season when every match is a cup tie and we need to stand together.

We were singing ‘We’ve got Madine’ on the way home. I just hope we can still sing that in February.