Steve Bruce admits his priorities have changed since Birmingham City joined the Premiership and tonight's Carling Cup tie with Norwich City is one of the most important games of the campaign.
During Birmingham's first three seasons amongst the elite of English football, this competition has not been top of Bruce's list of priorities, as he sought to establish his team in the top-flight.
Home reverses against Preston and Fulham, allied to a shock defeat at Blackpool, gives you some idea of Birmingham's interest in this tournament so far.
Very rarely did Bruce unleash a full-strength team on the opposition, but he signalled a statement of intent this season at Scunthorpe.
Bruce sent out all his bighitters at Glanford Park in the second round and was rewarded with the second win of this troubled season.
Norwich will be faced with a full-strength Birmingham side tonight as Bruce aims to reinvigorate his beleaguered team, as well as pile on the misery for his former club.
The Canaries' expected charge back to the Premiership hasn't materialised and they are languishing in 17th place in the Championship, with manager Nigel Worthington under severe pressure, but Bruce has his own agenda and a good Carling Cup run is certainly on his list of 'must do's' this season.
"A couple of years ago, it was different because all I was concentrating on was the Premier League, " he admitted.
"The distraction of the cup meant that you were frightened one of your big players would get injured and you would miss them.
"All that goes out of the window now because we are used to it, as we have got injuries galore.
"If someone said to me at the start of the season, 'would you want to win a cup or get into Europe?' I would want to win a cup.
"We have got to be realistic that we can only win two things, the FA Cup and Carling Cup; we are quite capable, if the draw is fortunate enough, of going a long way.
"Two years ago, we could have met Manchester United in the final of the FA Cup but we lost against Sunderland in the fifth round at home.
"Our path was free, as we would have met Sheffield United and Millwall; mind you, we still had to beat Manchester United in the final!
"However, we are a Premier League side and we know we are capable of winning five or six games in a one-off situation.
"It's a cup-tie and one we want to try to win, so we have to treat it properly and get in the hat. We know we can't win the league and we hope the draw is good to us.
"In the FA Cup [the draw] hasn't been particularly kind to me, as I have had Chelsea twice, Manchester United twice and Arsenal." A clash with the Canaries is always a special occasion for Bruce who spent many happy years at Carrow Road as a player.
It was against Norwich that he enjoyed arguably the greatest moment of his managerial career with the play-off victory in 2002, but Blues failed to beat Norwich last season and he is well aware of the threat posed by players such as Dean Ashton.
The £3 million signing from Crewe in January has already scored seven goals this season and Bruce admits he is an admirer of the striker. "We looked at Dean Ashton and I think we all look at the same players," said Bruce.
"It was a lot of money at the time for someone who was unproven in the Premiership, but he is a good player and has done very well for them.
"It was a bit like the situation we had with Clinton Morrison, who cost a lot of money at the time, but if you got relegated then, with his goalscoring record, he could bring you back the following year.
"Norwich always bring back great memories, as it was a great little club when I played for them and the playoff final will always stick in my mind.
"It's a competition that we need to do well in, for obvious reasons. I'll be taking it seriously - very seriously - after Saturday's display at Blackburn. That simply wasn't good enough and everyone at the club realises it.
"I'm over what happened with the penalty, I'm not with the performance. What sort of team will I be putting out? The strongest I can because we need to improve morale.
"Confidence isn't what it should be and one or two of them need to start performing.
"What happened at Ewood Park fell short of the standards I expect from a team I send out. It wasn't good enough, not by a long way."