Aston Villa boss David O'Leary believes Milan Baros is the right man to inspire his side's belated surge towards an unlikely place in Europe this season.
The Czech striker returns from five games out with an Achilles injury to face his former club Liverpool at Villa Park today.
In his absence Villa have plunged to fifth from bottom of the table and recent takeover talk has done little to ease the growing pressure on O'Leary to come up with an immediate answer.
But in his #6.5million summer signing Baros, O'Leary is convinced he has the ideal player to help history repeat itself at Villa Park and ignite another dramatic revival in the second half of the season.
O'Leary said: "Milan will make us a better team no doubt.
"If he fires we have got a great chance of moving away very quickly from where we are.
"The team I inherited two and a half years ago dropped into the bottom three in November and went on to finish sixth in the league.
"A few wins on the trot will raise the confidence and can take you from the bottom six to that top level.
"Those people talking about the relegation zone will be talking about pushing for Europe."
Baros has the added incentive of a point to prove to the manager who opted to sell him to Villa in order to pave the way for the #7million arrival of Peter Crouch.
Crouch is yet to get off the mark for his new club, whose inconsistency this season between defending their Champions League crown and struggling in the Premiership has confused O'Leary no end.
He continued: "Rafael Benitez has got a really good team which for some unknown reason can wipe the floor with sides in the Champions League then go to Crystal Palace and get beaten.
"I'm sure it's driving Rafael Benitez absolutely bananas. It is baffling for everybody."
Baros' return for Villa is a major boost for O'Leary who also has midfielder Lee Hendrie back pushing for a starting place after a knee problem.
But O'Leary must now cope without Patrik Berger for three weeks following his cartilage operation this week, and neither Wilfred Bouma nor Aaron Hughes will be ready for a comeback until the trip to Sunderland after the international break.
However despite his wafer-thin options in many areas O'Leary insists he is not in the business of making excuses for his side's poor form and has challenged his players to show their worth by battling out of their current predicament.
He added: "I have been hearing little bits about takeovers but it is nothing to do with the takeover because we are away from all that so that's no excuse.
"The buck stops with you. We're down there for a few reasons, we've conceded too many goals, we've missed vital players and have not been able to put our best side out.
"The defence knows we have conceded too many silly goals and hopefully they want to come out and put it right. I know everybody collectively has got to raise their standards of play."