West Bromwich Albion head to Charlton for a vital fixture in their Premiership campaign tonight with Bryan Robson apparently handing Robert Earnshaw an olive branch to resurrect his Albion career - at least for the short-term.
The striker had apparently been ostracised by the Albion manager after handing in two transfer requests and also r ebuffing a move to Southampton.
He compounded his position by delivering his worst performance for Albion in the FA Cup third-round defeat at Reading and was left out of the 16-man squad that lost against Sunderland ten days ago.
Nevertheless, with the transfer window closing tonight and Earnshaw set to remain at The Hawthorns, Robson may adopt a 'horses for courses' policy with the Wales international.
Earnshaw became the first player to score a hat-trick in every division and at international level when his three-goal salvo from the substitute's bench helped Albion to a 4-1 victory at the Valley last season. It was Albion's first away win and helped secure their Premiership status.
With that fact at the forefront of his mind, Earnshaw is likely to be restored to the bench by Robson who said: "I have good memories of Charlton last year, but I want happier memories this year. It was a major win for us and Earnshaw will be involved.
"His actual mental approach wasn't right earlier this month because he had asked for a move and wanted to leave.
"I have had a word with Earnshaw and said that no one has come in for him; his only opportunity was for Southampton but he turned that down as he wanted to play in the Premiership.
"The move isn't going to happen so he has to knuckle down and do the job he's paid for by West Bromwich Albion. This is the best chance he has got of playing Premiership football."
Robson was also incredulous when informed that Norwich had baulked at paying Albion's asking price for Earnshaw.
He said: "That's amazing that they say that when they have sold Dean Ashton for £7 million."
Robson will be without Zoltan Gera, Thomas Gaardsoe and Steve Watson (injuries) and Ronnie Wallwork (suspended). Albion's manager believes Jan Kozak needs more time to acclimatise before he is handed his debut so the squad will be stretched to the limit once again.
Robson has once again been linked with the position of England manager but believes the issue shouldn't be addressed until after the World Cup. He rebuffed the FA's advances after assisting Terry Venables at the European Championships in 1996 and is one of the possible successors to Sven-Goran Eriksson.
He said: "Before every competition in this country, whether it be the European Championships or the World Cup, the manager starts to get attacked. There shouldn't be a decision by the FA until after the World Cup. They need to have things in place so that it happens after the World Cup and moves smoothly.
"The FA should move quietly and effectively in the background and all the talk in the media should be about supporting the lads."
Robson added that he had not applied to be England manager but believed he was better equipped than when previously approached.
He said: "Terry had left, so I was leaving with him no matter who was the England manager. Also, it is nearly impossible to try to run a Premiership club and be involved with England as a manager. I was just away from home all the time and that is why I made my decision.
"The reason why I didn't take the job at that time was because I said that if I ever do take the job I want to have vast experience, so I can do a good job for England. I am now a lot more experienced than when I was offered the job, as I have had nine years of experience and worked with Terry at that level.
"As far as I am concerned there are a lot of good candidates such as Alan Curbishley and Sam Allardyce. There are a lot of good English managers around who have done better jobs with the so-called lesser clubs and are capable of doing the job. But, as I said previously, we should be concentrating on what happens in the World Cup.
"Having said that, any player who plays for their country wants to do well anyway and should be able to self-motivate. There is no bigger stage than the World Cup so they don't need any motivation."