With all the hype surrounding Birmingham City's transfer-window signings such as Martin Latka, Chris Sutton and DJ Campbell, allied to the Nicky Butt saga, it has been easy to forget the recent contribution of Maik Taylor.
It wasn't so long ago that the Northern Ireland international was being touted as arguably the best British goalkeeper in the country.
But football is a fickle industry and a brace of errors in consecutive fixtures against Everton and Newcastle saw him consigned to the reserves for the first time since his arrival in 2003.
Nico Vaesen stepped into the breach until his unfortu-nate dismissal in the debacle at Manchester City.
Taylor was recalled for the festive period and has reasserted himself as Birmingham's premier goalkeeper, culminating in a stunning performance at Stoke last weekend.
He was calmness personified as the temperature rocketed against Sunderland on Saturday and is convinced that he is back to the form that won him such acclaim.
If Birmingham are to survive to enjot another year in the Premiership, then Taylor will play a pivotal role in a side that has garnered a miserable 22 goals from 26 outings this term.
Taylor, who is set to captain Northern Ireland against Estonia tomorrow night, accepts he has made errors this season, but is still convinced Steve Bruce's decision to drop him was harsh.
"I didn't feel my form was poor," declared Taylor. "I just made a couple of mistakes. I am human. "The manager felt he wanted to leave me out. It was his decision. I felt it was the wrong one, but that is only my opinion.
"However, I have got broad shoulders and I can take that on the chin. Some of the criticism I received was harsh, to say my form was poor.
"With the situation we were in at the time,because we weren't scoring goals, the mistakes were highlighted. I do feel as though I am back to my best now and a lot has been made about a couple of mistakes.
"I had to live by the manager's decision. I am a professional and you have to knuckle down and get on with it.
"Nico came in and did exceptionally well. Unfortunately, he got sent off and that gave me another opportunity and I have worked hard and things are going all right.
"It is all about competition for places and if I have a run of poor performances, then the boss will not hesitate to put Nico back in, so it keeps me on my toes."
While Taylor delivered another polished performance during Saturday's critical victory over Sunderland, he was quick to deflect praise on to the umpteenth central defensive pairing in front of him.
Injuries and suspensions have caused havoc with any notion Bruce had of fielding a settled defence and Martin Latka and Martin Taylor were the latest duo flung together.
Yet they looked impenetrable, albeit against a lame Sunderland attack, with Northern Ireland's skipper admitting he was virtually redundant.
"The two Martins at the back were outstanding for us. The physical threat was going to be the problem, but I thought the two centre-halves did magnificently well," added Taylor.
"It was very tense and the conditions were difficult. The wind was swirling around. It was tense, but it was all about keeping concentration and we managed to see the game out."
The international fixture with Estonia is a game Taylor readily admits he could do without. With an FA Cup quarter-final and relegation battle to focus on, Taylor has more than enough on his plate at present.
Nevertheless, he intends to draw on the positives and will ensure he switches off from the pressures of a relegation dogfight. He said: "With Blues' situation, it is probably bad timing but you under-stand the reasons why. I've got to be fair to Northern Ireland.
"I'll try and help win that game and then look forward to the next one with Birmingham but sometimes it is nice to get away, meet up with the other lads and get up for that game. Sometimes, it is like a breath of fresh air, with the situation Birmingham are in, it gets you away from all the pressure."