Given how keen modern-day football managers are to extract 'positives' from any negative situation, Steve Bruce must have been sorely tested in that respect by Birmingham City's abject surrender at The Hawthorns on Sunday.
So unhappy was Bruce at the manner in which his team surrendered their unbeaten Premiership derby record against West Bromwich Albion that his No 2 Eric Black said: "The manager feels as if he's had his guts ripped out."
Bruce agreed that it might have been a different story had not Emile Heskey headed against the post just after Albion had led. At least, in that respect, Blues had one positive influence - the man who set up the chance, Stan Lazaridis.
Of all the many key performers Bruce has been deprived of this season, Lazaridis has been as glaring an absentee as anyone.
Despite making only nine Premiership starts, the Australian winger has been in the team in five of Blues' eight league wins.
He is still a craftsman, a supplier of chances. Without him, just as much as the loss of David Dunn and Mikael Forssell, Blues are a less creative team.
Bruce has also come to terms, though, with the fact that the injuryriddled Lazaridis will not be around forever. He is already aware that the combination of too many bad tackles, too many unnecessary long-haul flights, and too much strain on those suspect hamstrings has led to a need to wrap Lazaridis in cotton wool.
Bruce said: "We've got to realise that Stan is nearly 33. He had a really nasty muscle injury against Manchester City back in August
"You have got to be really careful with muscle injuries and we're going to have to nurse Stan along. It has come to that stage of his career where Stan might not be able to do what the rest of them can do.
"But it is good to have him back because he has been one of the big players, along with people like Dunny, Mikael and Muzzy Izzet, who we have missed for most of the season.
There is "light at the end of the tunnel" over the luckless Izzet, missing since being sent off against Everton in mid-November, and that he could play again this season.
After initially suffering knee ligament damage against Newcastle in early October, he broke down again in training after a two-game comeback the following month. But, after taking longer than expected to recover from surgery in January, Izzet is expected to resume training within a fortnight.
Blues' latest casualty, Olivier Tebily has been ruled out of the derby against Aston Villa on Sunday March 20.
Tebily limped out of the action on Sunday after suffering minor calf muscle damage. But an MRI scan has identified the exact problem, leaving him with an expected three weeks out.
Mario Melchiot, the right-back, has responded well to treatment on his ankle injury and should be fit to face Villa. But Bruce has asked for the immediate recall of his son Alex from a loan spell at Oldham Athletic that was due to end next weekend.