After becoming something of a villain of the peace at West Bromwich Albion, it appears the club are closing ranks around striker Nathan Ellington.
The former Wigan Athletic forward, back in the first team after recovering from a bruised toe, missed all but 45 minutes of last month's crucial Premiership run and although manager Bryan Robson refused to condemn Ellington publicly, he made little secret of his irritation behind closed doors.
The club's fans were less taciturn and openly questioned Ellington's commitment since his absence came at a time when his team needed him the most.
With just one goal in the three-and-a-half matches he missed and Albion's top flight status ebbing away, many felt the time had come for him to justify his £3 million price tag.
Finally Ellington reap-peared in the 3-0 loss at Newcastle United and followed up with his first start in a month in Monday night's home defeat to West Ham United when he missed a string of decent chances to salvage something from the game.
All of which might have given rise to the suggestion that Ellington's time at The Hawthorns could be up. That is until Robson came out and backed the man he hopes will fire Albion back out of the Championship.
"He has never experienced Premiership football and has had a lot of injury problems this season," said Robson.
"I am sure the fans will really take to Nathan next year. He has a one-in-two goal ratio down in the Football League.
"Against West Ham he was playing against a Premiership side that has done very well this season and he had four or five decent efforts. They didn't go in but he does get into the right areas to get chances."
And despite a paltry return of just five league goals in 30 games, 16 of which have come as a substitute, one of his team-mates has also rallied to Ellington's side.
Kanu, who has played with some of modern football's best strikers such as Dennis Berg-kamp, Davor Suker and Thierry Henry in his time at Arsenal, believes Ellington's ability is unrivalled at Albion.
"Nathan Ellington is the best striker in this team," said Kanu. "What he needs is to keep playing every game and that will come out.
"He can shoot, he can dribble and he can score with his head. Whatever you want a striker to do he does and he scores goals.
"He does the same in training and in games we have to use him. If you know your team-mate's strengths you have to use them. When he plays with me, I always like to give him the ball as I know what he can do."