If January was a month of clouds for Birmingham City, there was at least one silver lining in the shape of Gary McSheffrey.
The winger-cum-striker, who joined Blues from Coventry last August, has scored 16 goals in all competitions for both clubs this season.
His form in January, when Birmingham played two Coca-Cola Championship matches, three FA Cup matches, and endured two postponements, was such that he has won the monthly award on the PFA website in which the votes are cast by supporters.
There is little doubt that his performance during the match away to Newcastle United during the FA Cup third-round replay contributed to his success.
McSheffrey will receive his award, from one of the supporters who voted for him, on the pitch before the match at home to Sunderland on February 20.
The other PFA Fans' awards went to Frank Lampard, of Chelsea, in the Premiership, Nathan Tyson, of Nottingham Forest, in League One, and Lee Peacock, of Swindon Town, in League Two.
The polls are not scientific but are largely a reflection of a player's ability during a particular month.
"It is good to play in a team that creates," McSheffrey said. "That was a factor in my decision to come here. I looked at the individuals we had in the squad, the strikers and the midfielders, and I knew I'd get the ball and I'd get chances.
"We do attack quite fluently. Like I said, if our defenders keep a clean sheet we are always capable of nicking a goal or two."
Nevertheless, McSheffrey is not convinced that his performance against Newcastle at St James' Park was among his best.
"That wasn't my best performance in a Birmingham shirt," he said. "First half, I was happy with my performance. Second half, I wasn't. To be honest, I was playing well for Birmingham without scoring, but once one goes in, they start rolling in.
"It was a great team performance — one of our best, without a shadow of doubt — but, personally, I think there is better than that to come.
"I think this is a team that should be playing Premiership football. If we take every game as we did this one, the Premiership could and should happen for us. But this is a cup game.
"We caught Newcastle on a bad night and they caught us on a good night."