Aberdeen boss Neil Warnock was in the opposition dugout when Derek McInnes played in the ‘Battle of Bramall Lane’ but he was far from the focus of the Kilmarnock manager.

On March 16, 2002, McInnes was captain of Gary Megson’s West Brom side which took on Sheffield United, with the English second-tier fixture ending in chaos.

The home side had three men sent off – substitute Patrick Suffo was dismissed for headbutting McInnes who had earlier scored – and when two players went off injured at 3-0 down leaving United with only six players, referee Eddie Wolstenholme had no option but to abandon the game, with the Baggies subsequently awarded a 3-0 win.

Warnock recently made the move to Scotland after Barry Robson departed Pittodrie and is looking for his first cinch Premiership win after one defeat and two draws.

The 75-year-old will face McInnes across the technical area at Rugby Park on Saturday but reflecting on that afternoon 22 years ago, McInnes recalled that he and his team-mates had their own boss Megson to please.

He said: “It was a long time ago, and I still occasionally get asked about it.

“From my point of view, I remember that day being one of relief just winning the game because me and my team-mates went to Cheltenham (races) on a day off and I was more worried about the wrath of my manager.

“He said he would forget us being out midweek if we won at Sheffield United and thankfully we did that and it was a big win for us and a brilliant season.

“We went on to win promotion that year and that was another step along the way.

“I came across Neil when I was at Bristol City and I met him a couple of times coming up from London when he was coming up to his place in Dunoon.

“And I had a couple of conversations regarding players, he tried to sign a couple of players over the years, the most recent one was Jonny Hayes (at Aberdeen).

“There is a real respect for his longevity. He is 75 years of age, he has been doing it since 1980.

“It really is some feat to keep going and keep the fires lit for management because management is tough for all managers, young and old.”

Killie are sitting in fourth place and are on the back of a creditable 1-1 draw at Celtic Park last weekend.

McInnes said: “I thought last Saturday was our best performance in the past few weeks although we have had some positives results.

“Picking up a point at a tough venue is great but back to two home games, Aberdeen and Rangers and hopefully we can replicate our home form over the past couple of seasons.”