Birmingham captain Stephen Carr admitted he relished being public enemy No.1 in Sunday's derby.
Carr received a one-match ban after a hand gesture to the North Stand at the end of April's 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
That ensured a barrage of abuse would come Carr's way on his return to Villa Park but the veteran right-back was on his best behaviour.
After clapping Blues' fans in the Doug Ellis Stand, he kept a fixed stare on the home crowd as he walked off and just before he reached the tunnel, a smile cracked over his face.
"It was brilliant, I enjoy it," he told the Birmingham Mail. "Unfortunately football is a bit too serious at times but I think the banter is good. There's no malice in it at the end of the day.
"I think you always get grief as an away team in derby games. I had it with Tottenham and Newcastle.
"I think players relish coming to opposition grounds in derby games. I'm sure they will enjoy it when they come to us because they will be the underdogs a bit."
Birmingham finished three places behind Villa last season and just a point separates them in the bottom half this term so Carr feels the Blues are making ground on their derby rivals and insists there is no bad blood between them, despite a couple of flare-ups during Sunday's 0-0 draw.
"We're not a million miles away," he said. "They might have a bit more clout behind them financially but I don't think we're that far away.
"Last year we could have won it, this year we could have won it. We went quite positive, we passed the ball quite well. There were a lot of good things to take from it.
"Picking up any point in the Premier League is good. It's tough, especially at your rivals.
"They've got a good squad of players. It was a decent result but we're a little disappointed we didn't nick it.
"The argy-bargy? It's football. A derby. You expect something," Carr added.
"I thought it was a well-tempered game. The ref did brilliant. He got hold of it. There was nothing nasty in it.
"Obviously you know there's a bit more tension in the crowd because it's a derby. But the lads behaved themselves - both sets. I know a few of them and they're good lads."