Steve Bruce has been labouring in vain to try and keep the precocious talent that is Nicklas Bendtner under wraps but it is a forlorn hope.
It is no coincidence that when the brickbats were flying at Bruce from all angles as Birmingham City were sliding down the table, Bendtner was conspicuous by his absence.
The 18-year-old Arsenal loanee has already bagged six goals this season and is the bedrock on which Birmingham's promotion campaign will be built this season.
That might be a tall order for any ordinary teenager but the Denmark international is blessed with prodigious talent and an even greater self-belief.
Confidence bordering on arrogance is acceptable if you possess the natural talent that Bendtner does. He may well have relegated #3 million signing Cameron Jerome to the substitutes bench for large chunks of the campaign but the former Cardiff man can have no complaints as Bendtner is arguably the most complete forward in the Championship.
Six goals thus far this campaign is a paltry reflection of just how influential Bendtner has been on Bruce's side and they are considerably poorer for his absence.
Another goal at Sheffield United in a 30-minute cameo role had Premiership observers sitting up and taking notice on Tuesday.
And Bruce is acutely aware that the need to keep Bendtner beyond the initial January deadline is particularly pressing
"It is a double-edged sword with Nicklas as we have got him on loan from Arsenal and he is enjoying his football," said Bruce, referring to the plaudits Bendtner is currently receiving.
"He had a bit of knee injury, so we couldn't rush him back but any press-room I have gone into after a game, they have all seen the talent, haven't they?
"He is a talent and he is only 18 years of age. When he gets his chance I know he will take it and that’s what makes him a top, top player. In my opinion, he’ll only get better.
"He’s still learning his trade and he’s still got a long way to go before he goes and plays for the Arsenal. However, you can see what a huge talent he is at 18.
"That performance sets us up nicely for Saturday now."
While the sword of Damocles has deserted Bruce following two straight victories it will never be far away this season and a defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday will leave his blade being sharpened once again.
It is a critical fixture for Birmingham as they attempt to prove to home supporters their recent travails are firmly behind them while reining in Albion's promotion bandwagon.
"I think that if we finish above West Brom then we have got a good chance of going up. With the squad of players they have got, as they held on to their Premiership players, I do fancy them. It should be some game."
Bruce, however, has a problem regarding team selection after making seven changes against Sheffield United.
While he may have already had his team to face Albion pencilled in embryonically, the performances of Fabrice Muamba, Neil Danns, Jerome and Seb Larsson in Tuesday's Carling Cup tie have given him food for thought.
The vibrancy they showed against Premiership opposition, albeit aided by some shocking defending, was further proof that no one can afford to rest on their laurels.
"It gives me a headache but maybe they (players) have grasped the situation," said Bruce. "Sometimes you get a low point and that was ours last week (a 1-0 defeat against Norwich).
"All credit to them, as they put on a good show. The number of chances we have had in the game meant we could have scored at least another four.
"I thought it was a really good cup tie and I can’t remember the last time we scored four goals away from home, so it is really pleasing.
"I always wanted to try and build a new team and this was as good as I have seen them play."
United manager Neil Warnock made 11 changes to his previous line up but they still included quality players. Bruce added: "There was still a bit of experience to beat out there so it was a good result for us."
Bruce expects Jerome to be fully recovered from a calf strain for the visit of Albion but he is more concerned regarding the fitness of Campbell who is still recuperating from a twisted ankle.