Eric Black has hailed stand-in skipper Liam Ridgewell for winning over the Birmingham fans despite his previous connections with Aston Villa.
Central defender Ridgewell ended a long association with Villa when he became one of the few players to make the move across the city to St. Andrew's in a #2million deal last month. But the former England Under-21 player has been a solid performer in a steady start to life back in the Premier League for Steve Bruce’s side.
And Ridgewell has even been given the captain’s armband for the first six weeks of the campaign in the absence of hamstring victim Damien Johnson.
Bruce’s number two Black said: "Liam came here from Villa and he had a lot of weight on his shoulders having coming in from across the city. But, from the minute I met him prior to signing, I didn’t have any doubt that he would be able to cope with that. You could see he was a strong enough character.
"He is a young lad but he has a lot of Premier League experience for someone so young, has a fabulous mentality and he integrated himself immediately in the squad.
"He has shown those leadership qualities that the manager looked at - and he gave him the armband. He has been a fantastic acquisition for us and I am sure he will get better."
Black added: "The fans have taken to him and will do that when they know a player is prepared to give everything for them and the team - regardless of where he has been before.
"He wears his heart on his sleeve. You can see he is committed and he wants to do well - and he wants to do well for Birmingham City."