It might have been his side's fifth consecutive loss without a goal but Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce has called on his players to reproduce the performance they gave at Newcastle United, when they play one of the most important fixtures of his four-year reign.
Bruce and his players returned from the international break yesterday to devise a way of halting high-flying Bolton Wanderers in next Monday's match.
Blues, stuck in the Premiership relegation zone, are on an eight-game winless streak but Bruce reiterated his pleasure at City's overall display in the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle and focused on the positives at St James' Park.
"The manner and attitude that ran right the way through the team was pleasing," he said. "Players took the ball, players took responsibility to play. There was a determination and a freedom about them.
"It's been strange that we've tended to keep those kind of performances for away from home. But then again it's been a strange old season all told.
"I'm sure that if we can play like that against Bolton then we've got a good chance of getting the right result."
Bruce also maintained he would persevere with the controversial 4-5-1 system that has caused such dissent in matches at Middlesbrough and Manchester United.
"It's always something I've had the option of doing because we've got Jiri [Jarosik], and David Dunn, who can also play in that role off the front," he said.
"Some people say it is defensively-minded but it isn't, and up at Newcastle it wasn't.
"Yes, we made it difficult for them but we also got forward and looked a threat ourselves - and that's something we haven't been for a while."