Like everyone else at St Andrew's this season, David Gold has been subjected to eight months of purgatory.

This torrid campaign has been emotionally draining for all concerned at Birmingham City and Gold, the club's chairman, has been forced to fend off a seemingly endless succession of questions regarding the future of Steve Bruce, the manager.

The team has been entrenched in the Premiership relegation zone for what seems an eternity and has suffered the heaviest home defeat in their history for good measure.

Yet, Gold is one of life's optimists. His glass is definitely of the half-full variety and he has long preached the virtues of patience and belief.

After the team's surprising, but warranted, goalless draw against Chelsea last Saturday, it appears as though his tub-thumping optimism may have been justified all along.

Should the team procure a home victory against Bolton Wanderers tonight, which is feasible, they would clamber out of the bottom three for the first time since September.

With only six fixtures remaining, it would be perfect timing for Birmingham and the catalyst for an escape plan. They entertain a Boton side suffering from travel sickness and without a win in their last eight Premiership away fixtures.

The different landscape within Birmingham's mindset is epitomised perfectly by Nicky Butt.

The former England international bore the brunt of some fierce criticism from supporters and manager alike earlier in the campaign. However, he has broad shoulders and has emerged to become a pivotal figure in Birmingham's midfield.

Butt, like every other member of Birmingham's first-team squad, has been banned from talking to the press since the Liverpool debacle, so it was left to Gold to wax lyrical over his burgeoning influence.

A concerned Gold said: "Nicky Butt has been through a tough time and I have really felt for him. He was outstanding against Chelsea and I am just worried that he came off with a strain.

"One thing we cannot afford is any more injuries.Because of Nicky's reputation and what he has achieved in the past, he could change our season in the next seven games.

"It is a question of winning that mini-league among three clubs (Blues, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth). The winner takes all.

"I am reinvigorated after that performance and, most importantly of all, it bought the fans back onside.

"There were ironic cheers in the first couple of minutes for Olivier Tebily, but they suddenly turned into admiration and he was like a new player.

"Incredibly, it was Olivier that sparked it off and the fans turned him from villain to hero in ten minutes.

"Remember, it is on the back of an own goal and he was part of the team that lost against Liverpool.

"Yet here was a revitalised and determined player - who always gives 100 per cent -but once the crowd got behind him, he got better and better.

"He thoroughly deserved his man-of-the-match award. He was outstanding and I am thrilled for him."

Nevertheless, despite Gold eulogising over Birmigham's apparent renaissance, he said the main protagonists were the previously fed-up fans.

They responded to an effervescent performance with gusto and volume from the stands as a wall of noise permeated St Andrew's.

Despair and anger were replaced with genuine belief that a successful conclusion to the season can be achieved.

"I haven't seen such support here for ages," Gold said. "I want to thank the fans, as they don't ask a lot. They weren't asking us to beat Chelsea 5-0!. They just said 'give us a battling performance and we will be here to support you through thick and thin.'

"Now, you can become a believer, particularly if you can add a bit more support to the squad. I have spoken to David Dunn and he could be back on Tuesday and Muzzy Izzet and Chris Sutton, as well.

"We could see Matthew Upson back a week after that, too. At present, the team is virtually picking itself. We know that managers need more versatility and that they need different players for different circumstances."

Bruce's hopes of garneirng a vital win will be lifted by the return of Jiri Jarosik, who may well start at the expense of DJ Campbell.

Butt is rated at 50-50 along with Dunn, Izzet, Sutton and Stan Lazaridis. However, Butt and Dunn are the two most likely to feature from Birmingham's injury list, while Mario Melchiot is still sidelined with a thigh injury.