David O'Leary has long lamented the size of Aston Villa's squad so he is thankful that the transfer window has shut without any more departures from his thread-bare numbers.
The Villa manager made tentative enquiries about Birmingham City's new loan signing, Martin Latka, three weeks ago but limited funds ruled out any loan deal to ensure that Villa are one of only two Premiership clubs not to make any addition to their squad during January.
However, of those that remain, he is concerned that home supporters are singling out one player in particular for extremely harsh treatment.
JLloyd Samuel is in contention for a starting place against Chelsea, the Premier-ship champions, at Villa Park tonight with Wilfred Bouma still on the recovery trail.
It has been a difficult campaign for Samuel, whose first-team appearances have been limited after a dip in form.
Yet he has played in the last two fixtures at Villa Park, against West Ham and Port Vale, with O'Leary perturbed at the level of anger directed at his 24-year-old full-back.
O'Leary is calling for a united front before Villa's toughest home game of the campaign. "I have spoken to JLloyd about it and he assures me he isn't worried by it, but I feel for him because he is a nice boy," said O'Leary, who was genuinely concerned.
"He wants Villa to do well and he isn't a bad boy who is causing trouble. He is a lad who came here at 15 years of age and trains really well every day. Some of the stick he is taking from the home fans isn't right.
"It is uncalled for and it's not helping him. In fact, it isn't helping any of us to get a result. He is a home-grown lad and he mightn't always play well in games but he is trying his hardest out on the pitch.
"The lad is no trouble and some of the stuff that is being dished out to him is totally uncalled for. It does affect you as a player if the home fans are giving you stick.
"Give the manager stick, as he can handle that. I am big enough and old enough and I know the game and that's the way it goes.
"I was getting some stick from behind the dugout on Saturday for taking off Juan Pablo Angel, as someone was shouting that I should be taking off Milan Baros. Ten minutes later, he was shouting that Milan was brilliant!
"I know supporters are passionate, but JLloyd always tries his hardest for this football club."
Nevertheless, O'Leary revealed that Samuel had been the butt of some good-natured ribbing from team-mates.
The left-back, who has seven England Under-21 caps and has been a member of Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad, has decided to throw in his lot with Trinidad and Tobago for the forthcoming World Cup.
A Fifa ruling appeared to jettison Samuel's chances and, while he has appealed, the odds on him appearing in Germany for the Caribbean nation look slim. But that hasn't prevented his teammates from indulging in some fun at Samuel's expense.
The ante was upped when they learned that Port Vale, Villa's opponents last Saturday, had a bona fide Trinidad and Tobago international in their ranks in Chris Birchall.
"JLloyd has been getting some stick from the boys," O'Leary said with a chuckle. "They have constantly been asking him if he has heard any news.
"When they found out about Birchall, they really wound him up on Thursday and Friday about a bit of team-bonding with Birchall before the game!
"Then he was repeatedly asked if he was going to change shirts with Birchall after the match as well!"
With no additions to his squad, O'Leary was relieved to see the transfer window close without his meagre squad being pillaged any further.
Speculation had linked Eric Djemba-Djemba, Lee Hendrie, Gareth Barry and Ulises De La Cruz with possible moves away from Villa Park but nothing came to fruition.
While O'Leary is frustrated at not being able to replenish his squad, he is also grateful that the vultures have only picked off Eirik Bakke from his squad of 2005.
He said: "I'd have loved to have got someone in on loan, but that would have involved a loan fee and an agent's fee.
"I have no idea when more funds will be made available and I think it might be a case of trimming costs first."
"That's why I am quite content to let this trasnfer dead-line go with the current squad we have got.
"I'm not in favour of the transfer window, anyway. The big clubs stock up at the start of the season and I don't see too much coming and going in January."