Birmingham City had many defenders at St Andrew's last Saturday - some good, some bad - but the best of them, alas, was wearing a suit and looking frustrated. Never has Matthew Upson been so missed.
Birmingham defended so poorly that their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion, their chief rivals in the battle for 17th position, that the result should be seen as a victory.
But that would be claiming a positive when everything was negative. Nice guys though they are, Martin Taylor and Martin Latka were uncomfortable at the heart of the Birmingham defence and only poor finishing from Albion ensured a draw.
Upson, still nursing an injury, has suddenly become Birmingham's most important player and his absence is starting to show.
It was hard to find a Birmingham player willing to criticise the defensive display against Albion but, reading between the lines, one could hear the clamour for Upson. Mikael Forssell, the Birmingham striker, who scored a penalty to give his team the lead, emphasised the dilemma.
"Matthew is a fantastic player in every way," Forssell said.
"It has been a blow that he hasn't been playing and Kenny Cunningham as well so it is not easy.
"I thought Martin Latka has done well coming in but we had loads of injuries this season. You can always make excuses but it has been a massive influence on the season, not being able to get the best team out. Hopefully Matt is going to be ready next Saturday."
Steve Bruce, the Birmingham manager, says that Upson's groin injury is giving cause for concern. The player will have a second injection this week in the hope that he will be fit enough to face Tottenham on Saturday.
"Matty has had one injection," Bruce said. "It is now six weeks he has been out and, when something like that is six weeks, you do worry. It is usually 21 days. It is giving him concern. He has had an injection and will have a further one this coming week."
Whatever, it appears that Birmingham are set for significant changes this summer, whether or not they will be playing Premiership football next season.
Bruce faces the most significant spell of his tenure, with Mario Melchiot, Cunningham, Jamie Clapham and Stan Lazaridis out of contract, and reports the team spirit is not what it once was.
How ironic that the best squad seen at St Andrew's in a generation is fighting to avoid relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship. How sad that so many distinguished players are failing to fulfil their potential.
"There has definitely got to be a huge look at things if we get out of this position and we have to reassess the whole situation in the summer," Bruce said. "No more can I have a team that has four or five people missing for the best part of 18 months. It can't survive, a squad of 22 players, and three or four of them missing for all of that time.
"There are also people getting older and that has to be addressed in the summer. But the immediate priority is to try and stay in this division. If we stay in the Premiership, one thing you are going to look at is the back four. They have been fantastic over three to four years.
"Cunningham and Upson for the best part of three years have been fantastic. We know Kenny is not getting any younger. I wish I could find another one of his kind for nothing.
"Mario is out of contract in the summer and the left-back situation has always seemed to be a problem for me since I've been here. Stan is not getting any younger."
Damien Johnson, the Birmingham midfield player, has no doubts that the players can cope with the pressure of being in the bottom three. Birmingham are three points adrift of Albion and are struggling to make up ground.
"We're big enough and strong enough to be able to handle the pressure," Johnson said. "We haven't played well enough and we've put ourselves in this position.
"The crowd are anxious and if things don't go well for us on the pitch, then that anxiety spreads throughout the team. But we've got to be men enough to handle it."