David Dunn fully endorsed the decision of Steve Bruce, the manager, to substitute him with half an hour remaining as Birmingham City chased an equaliser at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
A vocal majority of Blues supporters voiced their disapproval at the move but Bruce was unyielding and said he was looking at the bigger picture after Dunn's injury-ravaged campaign.
Dunn's return from a serious back operation has been blighted by a subsequent series of niggling injuries.
Nevertheless, he was the chief protagonist behind all of Birmingham's incisive play.
The team looked less likely to score after his withdrawal.
The England international said he was disappointed to be substituted but fully understood the manager's motives with the visit of West Bromwich Albion on the horizon.
He said: "My hamstring is OK. It is a little bit tight but nothing to be too worried about.
"I have got to be careful and the boss was absolutely right to bring me off when he did.
"Obviously I am very disappointed to come off a pitch at any time but there is still two months left in the season and a lot of points still to be won.
"It was a killer of a result against Middlesbrough because I thought we were the better team."
Despite Birmingham's predicament they will approach Saturday's fixture with Albion in a positive frame of mind.
Only one defeat from their last six outings at St Andrew's, allied to four victories, has transformed their entire season.
Dunn fully expects that renaissance to continue on Saturday, saying: "Next week is a massive game. They don't come any bigger. Anything apart from a win is not good enough for a side with the ability we have.
"We know that if we lose against West Brom we will go six points behind them but a victory and we go above them.
"It will not keep us up if we win but it will give our confidence a massive shot in the arm. We cannot even think about anything other than three points. Nobody will even talk about anything else.
"The fact that it is at St Andrew's is a major boost because our fans will be right behind us and they are worth a goal start."
Emile Heskey concurred with Dunn's view that the fixture had been cranked up to new levels of importance following another pointless weekend for both clubs.
Birmingham created more chances than Middlesbrough but Heskey was culpable as he wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to give Bruce's men a lead.
Mario Melchiot's excellent cross reached him in an unmarked position eight yards from goal but he headed well wide.
Heskey was doubly disappointed as he believed Blues gifted Mark Viduka Middlesbrough's winning goal.
He said: "We have got to be more disciplined and see these games out. That had 0-0 written all over it but we actually ended up losing the game. We passed the ball well but we made a mistake and gifted them a goal. The lad took it well but it was still a bit of a gift."
Heskey again missed a chance at the other end with only the keeper to beat.
"I thought the defender was going to win the header but it hit me at the last minute," saidHeskey, referring to his golden opportunity. "I haven't really got much direction on it. It caught me by surprise. However, I probably should have anticipated the defender missing it. David
Dunn had his chance, too, which the keeper made a good save from.
"We had a few shots from the edge of the box after that but nothing to trouble them.
"We have got to work on the training ground and look through the game and analyse where we went wrong. We will pick out only one or two points as I thought we played well."
There is no escaping the fact that 22 goals from 27 Premiership games is the primary reason behind Birmingham's travails. The policy of playing Dunn just behind Heskey ensured Birmingham created chances but Bruce will be reluctant to play only one striker against Albion.