As soon as Gary McSheffrey sealed his move to Birmingham City from Coventry City, he checked the fixture list to see when the teams first meet in the Coca-Cola Championship.
"October 31... Halloween," he noted with a smile. "A spooky night for Coventry."
It was a joke, of course. It could not possibly have been serious when so many Coventry supporters have expressed anger at his departure.
The match will take place on a Tuesday night at the Ricoh Arena and McSheffrey knows that he is sure to face the wrath of Coventry fans. But for those who think that the left winger has acted disloyally, or left to earn more money, his response was swift and factual: "I could be in the Premiership now.
"I could have left Coventry in the summer, when my contract was up and signed for Sheffield United but I was loyal. I decided to stay."
McSheffrey joined Birmingham on Wednesday for a fee that could rise to £4 million. It is, he says, "weird" to be leaving Coventry. He was born just a short walk away from Highfield Road, their previous stadium, and he would probably be a season-ticket holder at the Ricoh Arena if he was not a footballer.
But football is one of those industries that makes it difficult for players to plan ahead. You can think you are at one club for life - as McSheffrey did - and then another club tries to sign you.
In all, Birmingham made five attempts to sign the player and only when the price was acceptable to Coventry was a deal arranged. "In the end, it was a deal that suited all parties," McSheffrey said.
Steve Bruce, the Birmingham manager, who aided McSheffrey during a short but humorous press conference at Wast Hills yesterday, added that Coventry were more than happy with the deal. The fee is officially "undisclosed" but £4m appears to be the accepted amount, which would be a record for two clubs outside the top flight in England.
McSheffrey felt the need for a fresh challenge, Coventry have made a massive profit and Birmingham have acquired one of the most talented players outside the Premiership.
"You expect these things in football," McSheffrey said. "You know that you might have to move clubs, move cities, move houses. That is the job we are in but I have joined a club that has a great chance of gaining promotion."
McSheffrey was a product of Coventry's academy and, when he made his debut against Aston Villa in 1999 at the age of 16, he became the Premiership's youngest player.
McSheffrey flourished under Eric Black, now the assistant to Bruce, and he went on to make 162 appearances for Coventry, scoring 53 goals. He scored in Coventry's 2-1 victory over Sunderland on the opening day of the season.
He scored 17 goals from a wide position last season but this, he says, might not be as good as it looks. "When you are a striker, there is not a lot of space," he said. "But if you are coming in from the wing, it is easier to find a hole and score."
Bruce's pursuit of McSheffrey seemed to dominate the summer at St Andrew's. Birmingham's tenacity even surprised Micky Adams, the Coventry manager, who had previously suggested that Bruce's bids for the player were "a waste of fax paper".
But Bruce was rewarded. Eventually.
"We had to be patient but he was always one on the list that I put forward to the board," Bruce said. "If you look at Neil Danns, Cameron Jerome and McSheffrey, they all managed to score goals last year. That was the big attraction for us.
"If we're going to do anything in the league this year, we've got to score and to get 17 goals from a wide position for Coventry last season is a fantastic achievement. That is why we've spent the money we have.
"We all know that in football everybody has got their price, whether you're Gary McShef-frey or Ronaldo. Coventry didn't want to let their star player go but it was a bit similar to us with Jermaine Pennant, there has to come a time.
"We got the vibes that we were getting nearer the figure they wanted."
McSheffrey is assured of a place in the starting line-up at home to Crystal Palace tomorrow. After a mixed start to the season, when results have been good but performances not so good, Bruce's team need to be more creative. McSheffrey will bring flair.
"I've seen him on numerous occasions and I always thought he was a threat," Bruce said. "He's started off that way again this season by scoring against Sunderland. I'm sure he'll do very well for us.
"The left was the area where we needed cover with just Mat Sadler, Julian Gray and now Gary. What this does is allow me to play David Dunn in a more central role, if I need to.
"I predominantly see Gary playing where he did for Coventry because he gives you a goal threat from the wide area. He plays as a third striker; he is not an out-and-out winger."
When asked where he would prefer to play, McSheffrey was emphatic: "Centre forward."
He could have been serious or it could have been a joke but Bruce spent quite a while laughing about it. The key is, will both men be laughing on October 31?