When it comes to a fight, there is few players more battle-hardened than defender Martin Taylor. The 28-year-old, six foot four inch centre back, ironically nicknamed 'Tiny', has had to fight for his Birmingham City future ever since signing for £1.25 million from Blackburn Rovers four years ago.
It looked like his playing days at St Andrew's were all but over this season. He didn't feature under former manager Steve Bruce and spent a successful spell on loan at Norwich City.
New boss Alex McLeish then told him he was surplus to requirements and several clubs such as Norwich, Queens Park Rangers and Coventry City showed an interest during the transfer window.
However, when Gary Cahill rejected a move to Blues in favour of Bolton Wanderers, and Rahdi Jiadi left for international duty at the African Cup of Nations, McLeish was left short of defensive cover and Taylor's move was blocked.
Just to prove that the old adage 'you can't keep a good man down' is true, the poor form of Rafael Schmitz threw Taylor a lifeline and he started his first game of the season for Blues on Saturday in the 1-1 draw with Derby County.
Although he wasn't overworked by County's forward line of Robert Earnshaw and Kenny Miller, he impressed McLeish with a composed and professional performance.
"He had a good game and I said if I couldn't get the centre-half I wanted, I would keep Tiny," McLeish said afterwards. "He has trained with us, he has never been out of our plans. We have always kept him involved.
"When I came in I thought it was maybe time for him to move on if I got the centre-half I wanted. I thought at his age, he should keep playing rather than being third or fourth choice and it was only a business decision but we didn't get that man and Tiny has come in and shown all of us his good experience.
"He has certainly got the experience and he showed it against two quick forwards and I don't think he put a foot wrong."
Typically, Taylor does not talk about his own future but is more concerned about the current plight of Blues, who slipped into the relegation zone after the disappointing Derby draw. Emanuel Villa popped up in the 89th minute to salvage an unlikely draw for the Rams and strike a devastating blow to Blues.
"It feels like a defeat," Taylor said. "We have done enough to win the game really. It is a game we needed to win, there is a lot of disappointment.
"We needed to kill it off. At 1-0 we sat back a bit and they got into the game. It was a decent goal by them but I am sure we can look at it and sort it out really.
"It is a blow to be in the bottom three but we know there are 13 games left and what is needed of us. We need to pick up points starting from next Saturday at West Ham United and we will work on it. That's all we can do.
"We know it's going to be a battle but we are still in that group of six or seven teams that need to get out of it.
"No one has got any consistency at the moment and we know if we can put a little run together that we will do alright. "It is important not to panic. I am sure people will look at the table and it's not good sitting in the bottom three. You've got to play catch-up now and we've got a tough game at West Ham next week.
"Every game now, three points is vital but we've got quality in the squad. We lacked a bit of a finishing touch against Derby and the lads said the goal in the first half should have counted.
"If things like that go for you, we are comfortable and you get the win but unfortunately they are not at the moment so we can just keep on playing like we did against Derby, battling hard and, with the bit of flair we have in the side, we should be alright."
Blues are set to be bolstered by the return of Mehdi Nafti and Jiadi from the African Cup of Nations after Tunisia's quarter final defeat by Cameroon.