Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has admitted that he is surprised by the quality of new signing DJ Campbell.
The 24-year-old, who was playing non-league football at Yeading this time last year, signed for Blues in January after his eye-catching performances for Brentford.
He has so far been used only as a substitute, but Bruce has conceded that his attitude to training has impressed and that he is now a serious consideration for a starting role.
Established stars such as Emile Heskey, Mikael Forssell and Chris Sutton have failed to lift Birmingham out of the relegation zone, and Bruce may decide to try a fresh approach up front against Sunderland on Saturday.
"His overall footballing skills are better than we first thought, and he's already convinced us that we have a really good player on our hands," the manager enthused.
"With no disrespect to Brentford, I think DJ's going to be one of those players who improves all the more playing with better players.
"He has to come into the thought process after the impression he has made.
"He's a different option because he's quick. He's been like a breath of fresh air since he first walked through the door.
"Everyone can see how glad he is just to have the opportunity of playing at this level. He's really hungry to get in the team and looked razor-sharp for the reserves against West Brom the other night."
Fellow striker Sutton appears to be equally as determined to make his mark at St Andrews, having been brought in at the start of the year to help stave off the threat of relegation.
Sutton is desperate to repay Bruce's faith in him, and believes that he can fire Birmingham to Premiership safety.
"I know what I have come into and I know that it isn't going to be easy, but I want to do the best I can," he insisted. "I feel I owe that to Steve Bruce and I want to do as well as I can for him and Birmingham.
"I think there will be Premiership football here next season. With the players we have I think we can go out and do it on the pitch and then survival will be reached."