Walsall may be languishing three points above the relegation zone and have just lost a semi-final on penalties but Paul Merson is as happy as he has been all season.
The prospect of playing at Stoke in an FA Cup fourth-round tie tomorrow is not exactly filling the playermanager with dread as he has seen tangible signs of improvement since his influx of loan signings this month.
Mads Timm, Kevin James, Michael Leary and Grant Smith have augmented Merson's threadbare squad to good effect. Even though his team are sliding towards a potential relegation battle, Merson refuses to be downcast.
Walsall's Achilles heel, a propensity to concede goals from set pieces, came back to haunt them against Swansea City in the Southern area semi-final of the LDV Vans Trophy on Tuesday night.
But don't expect Merson to budge on his principles and create a team of giants; he intends to stick with his aesthetically-pleasing style of play and is prepared to rise or fall by those methods.
Merson said: "I am a cup half-full type of guy. We have been struggling on set-pieces, as we aren't the biggest team and most of our front line are small.
"That's where we are getting punished. Against Swansea, one of their goals was a set-piece, while the other came from a cross.
"That is worrying. I don't want to keep on playing big lads just because of set-pieces. I want to play the lads who are playing well.
"We don't play in the league again on Saturday and, if certain teams win, we will move down again but I believe that this team could win five or six games on the trot. We just need that ruthless edge when we are on top.
"We are confident and if we win at Swindon in our next league game, then you can start looking at the playoffs again. That is how silly this division is."
Nevertheless, Merson can turn his attention to a potential giant-killing tomorrow when Walsall make the short journey up the M6 to face the Potters.
Leary, James, Simon Osborn and Timm will be available again for the clash as Merson shuffles his pack once more.
Stoke are in turmoil, with director of football John Rudge and manager Johan Boskamp at loggerheads and locked in a gargantuan power struggle.
The warring factions are having a divisive effect within the dressing-room and they have fallen from playoff contenders to mid-table mediocrity in weeks, as well as just edging past Nationwide Conference strugglers Tamworth in a third-round FA Cup replay following a penalty shoot-out. While Merson can draw solace from the unease permeating the Britannia Stadium, he said: "They are struggling, but they have got some quality players and you will see a gulf in class at certain times of the game.
"But if we can keep them quiet for the first 20 minutes, then I am sure the crowd will get on their back.
"I am convinced their supporters are expecting to turn up and wipe the floor with us as a lower-league team.
"We are going there to get a result and I believe we can. On our day, we are capable of beating a lot of teams in the Championship in a one-off game.
"It is a good game for us. I am not looking at this as a game where we have nothing to lose but, as I said, they have some good players, and I like Daryl Russell and Luke Chadwick.
"We will need to be on our game to stand any chance of winning. We can't afford to have a mad 25 minutes like we did at Swansea."