DJ Campbell has vowed to put the misery of last season behind him and reveal to Birmingham City fans his true self after a string of scintillating pre-season performances.
The 23-year-old has been in devastating form in Birmingham's friendlies this summer, having plundered nine goals in four matches, and has begun to look like the player Steve Bruce hoped he would be when the manager gambled £500,000 on the striker.
That was in last season's January transfer window when Birmingham were desperately short of goals and locked in a relegation battle they would ultimately lose.
Apparently on the evidence of one performance Campbell, an exciting prospect but with no real pedigree, was plucked from the obscurity of League One football with Brentford and thrust into the Premiership spotlight.
Bruce hoped the mercurial forward would repeat the dis-play that brought him two goals in an FA Cup victory over Sunderland but unfortunately for manager and player the step up in class was too great to take without stumbling.
Campbell started four top-flight matches and made seven appearances as a substitute but failed to score a single goal.
Although his movement was bright and his running was willing for most of the time his was a peripheral presence as the Blues ship finally sank.
It hurt him to the core: "There was a time after it that I doubted myself," Campbell said. "Strikers need to start games and score goals and when I wasn't doing that it was hard.
"You start to snatch at chances and while a midfielder or a defender can do other things to make up for it strikers can't.
"I was thrown into the deep end and I wanted to do well for the manager and the club because they took a chance on me but it wasn't to be.
"I didn't score but I played OK now and then but it was a big difference for me. At the time I felt I could come in and prove that I could do it but it never worked out."
But, having endured a pre-season he describes as the hardest he has known and banged four past Burton Albion and a hat-trick against the Gibraltan version of Newcastle United, Campbell is desperate to show his manager, the fans and even himself that he belongs at St Andrew's.
"I feel this season is my year and to be honest it has to be," he said. "I have got a lot to prove to everyone and I have to thank the people who showed faith in me, the only way I can do that is by scoring goals. For definite the fans have not seen the best of me yet. They saw a few glimpses in the seven or so games I played but this year they will see the real DJ."
Even though he has looked unstoppable so far his goals have come against the relative weaklings of the footballing world and in non-competitive matches.
With new signing Cameron Jerome and top-scorer Mikael Forssell vying for a first-team place and another forward, perhaps Gary McSheffrey, to come, the Londoners' displays are not certain to earn him a start in the first match of the season against Colchester United.
"I have been running my bollocks off to get into the starting line-up, I have not come here to make up the numbers, I came here to prove that I can play at this level.
"I have put myself in a good situation this pre-season and have showed the gaffer what I can do. Hopefully that's enough."
Meanwhile, Birmingham have agreed a deal to take Arsenal duo Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson on season-long loans. England youth international Muamba, aged 18, and Swede Larsson, 21, will give Bruce added options in his midfield.