Of all the young Aston Villa players on this season's learning curve, Liam Ridgewell has had it tougher than most.
Forced into becoming a first-team fixture for four months before Christmas following the absence of the injured Martin Laursen, the young Londoner was truly thrown in the deep end.
But, after a much needed rest early in the New Year, Ridgewell has been back on first team duty over the last month following the loss of Mark Delaney, playing alongside his fourth central defensive partner this season, Aaron Hughes.
Although it was asking too much for a repeat of the two goals he scored against Fulham at Craven Cottage in December, Saturday's controlled performance at Villa Park suggested that the 21-year-old has come of age.
Villa manager David O'Leary, not noted for singling out players for post-match praise, said: "Liam Ridgewell played very well. For a young lad, he was nice and strong.
"If we can get more players back for the weekend, Olof Mellberg, Milan Baros, maybe even Mark Delaney, we'll have a better chance of winning more games.
"But the plus side was how we coped with all the people we had out, and I thought Liam timed his challenges well.
"The improvement from last week was significant."