The empty seats and negativeness that surrounded the pitch at St Andrew's last Sunday, when Birmingham played Stoke, would not have fazed Colin Doyle.
You need to have played in front of 1,419 spectators, for Chester City against Rochdale in the Football League Trophy on a damp night near to the Welsh border, to endure real anticlimax.
Doyle, aged 21, has been the first-choice goalkeeper for Birmingham in their past two matches and indications are that he will retain his place, ahead of Maik Taylor, for the time being.
True, it is not easy being a Birmingham player at present. Only 15,854 watched the match against Stoke and there was much disillusionment.
Doyle was undeterred. A first-team match for Birmingham in cold conditions, on a bad pitch, inside a half-empty stadium, against a physical team . . . all of this was a piece of cake compared to his debut for Chester in November 2004.
Doyle was then only 19, out on loan with Chester, and the match against Rochdale at Deva Stadium, where it really was hard to spot the crowd, was his senior debut.
His next match could hardly have been more different. By February 2005, he was on loan with Nottingham Forest and was part of the team that drew 1-1 away to Tottenham Hotspur. This time he played in front of 35,640 spectators.
Forest was Doyle's first taste of the big time and he spent nearly six months with the club before returning to Birmingham in May 2005. With Taylor the first-choice goalkeeper and Nico Vaesen the established understudy, Doyle realised that he still needed experience elsewhere. He moved on loan to Millwall and played 14 league matches for the club last season.
The departure of Vaesen meant that, when Doyle returned to St Andrew's, the opportunities were greater. He began the season on the substitutes' bench and made his debut against Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup on August 22, 2006.
More significantly, Doyle was selected on pure merit when Steve Bruce, the Birmingham manager, dropped Taylor for the match away to Colchester United on February 3.
"Young Doyle has done extremely well," Bruce said. "Sometimes you make a decision where, as a manager, you think 'we've conceded three goals in two games and he deserved his chance'.
"He looks the part and sometimes something like that happens for you. I thought he did very well."
Doyle conceded one goal in the draw against Colchester but kept a clean sheet against Stoke. Indeed, one might suggest that Doyle played a significant part in Birmingham's victory, keeping Stoke at bay with one particularly good save in the second half.
While Taylor is clearly disappointed at Bruce's decision to play Doyle, there cannot be many people who would suggest that it has not worked.
Doyle has clearly benefited from his time with Chester, Millwall and Forest. Better to experience real football rather than artificial, reserve-team, football.
"He [Doyle] has played a few times," Bruce said. "He played at Millwall on loan and Nottingham Forest. We have high hopes for him. Is he a long-term replacement for Maik Taylor? He has got a chance.
"As for Maik, anyone who gets left out is never happy but what you are looking for as a manager is a response. Maik has set unbelievably high standards over the few years he has been here. Just of late, I've detected a little dip so I've made a change but it might have the response that I am looking for.
"Doyle is big, aggressive, a decent talker, a good kicker. He has got the chance to be a really good goalkeeper. He has played for Ireland Under-21s. He has that physical presence; he is six-foot-five and domineering."
Doyle’s hopes of selection in the full Ireland team are likely to be dashed by Shay Given, of Newcastle United, who is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
Bruce said: "As for having one stepping up to the national team, for me Shay Given is the best goalkeeper in the Premiership, probably even in the country.
"Given has proved himself. Colin has got a bit to go to catch him but time is on his side."