The last time Martin Taylor played against Fulham he was forced to leave the pitch with blood streaming from a head wound, which was indicative of his fortunes at Birmingham City.
Taylor had finally forced his way into Steve Bruce's starting line-up but he clashed heads with team-mate Mario Melchiot and was withdrawn as the wound bled heavily.
That curtailed Taylor's season and many observers were convinced it signalled the end of his Birmingham career after a stuttering start under Steve Bruce.
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However, despite suffering an ankle injury against West Ham last Monday, the imposing stopper has finally become part of the furniture at St Andrew's.
Patience has been a virtue for Taylor. He has been forced into the role of interested onlooker whilst Kenny Cunningham and Matthew Upson have formed the basis of Birmingham's defence for the past three seasons.
Yet Taylor appears to have finally dismantled the status quo and cemented a central defensive role at St Andrew's. The 26-year-old was withdrawn at half-time on Monday but looks like being fit for tomorrow's relegation clash with Fulham.
Mario Melchiot is out for three weeks (thigh) and Muzzy Izzet for a month (hamstring) to add to Steve Bruce's woes but he can console himself with Taylor's swift recovery and the £1.25 million signing from Blackburn is keen to finally establish himself.
"You cannot just sit on the bench all your career," said Taylor. "You are desperate to play games when you are out of the team and, now I have got a chance, I know what I have been missing.
"This is probably the first time I have had a few games on the trot and it definitely makes a difference. You get used to playing in the team and I am feeling the benefit.
"Psychologically, it is different, as when you are not in the team or even on the bench and the team wins, it doesn't feel the same. Playing regularly makes a difference.
"To start with, you feel as though you need to prove a point to keep your place. After a run of games, you start to look at your own game and look at improving it more."
Taylor is aware of the importance of the fixture against Fulham, as Birmingham are seven points adrift from safety and without a home win all season.
Bruce has received the unequivocal backing of the board once again this week, despite the club's parlous position in the Premiership table and Taylor is aware that Birmingham missed a trick against West Ham as they slumped to their sixth home defeat of the campaign. Yet he is convinced they can resurrect their fading fortunes.
"The results prior to the West Ham defeat lifted our confidence, because it showed us we could win," he said.
"It doesn't matter who you play, or how you get it, as you are always looking at the fixture list wondering where the next victory is coming from, but hopefully we can transfer that to our home form, as well.
"We have a tough run at Christmas, so we need to pick some points up to take the pressure off a little bit.
"Even though we are second from bottom, it looks better then it did last week when we were well adrift.
"We now know that if we get a result against Bolton, then we are back in the pack."
While Taylor is fully focused on the team ethic, he is also looking after No 1 regarding a regular first-team shirt.
His steady, workmanlike performances have gradually endeared him to the St Andrew's faithful and he has won over critics who claimed the Premiership was a bridge too far for him.
Yet the sanguine centre-half admits that there was a stage when he wondered if he was ever going to make his mark at Birmingham.
"There was a time when I thought the breaks weren't going for me," he confessed.
"But the manager always told me that, if I got my chance, it was up to me to take it and stay in the team.
"That happens in football and if the players in front of you are playing well, you have to accept it and wait your turn.
"It is very frustrating, I can't deny that, but hopefully that is a passage of my career I can look back on and look forward to playing regularly from now on."