Whether it’s welcome remains to be seen, but Saturday’s FA Cup tie comes as a diversion for Birmingham City and their visitors Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The third-round tie at St Andrew’s (12.30pm) brings together, arguably, the team that was relegated from the Premier League last season against the team that should have been relegated.
Blues slumped at the end of the campaign, losing four and drawing one – against Wolves – of their last five matches.
And they were six points clear of the drop zone in mid-April with those aforementioned games to come.
Both sides are expected to make changes with their respective leagues the main focus in the forthcoming months to May.
Blues, indeed, have one of their Championship games in hand on Wednesday when Ipswich Town visit St Andrew’s.
Over the Christmas and New Year period they took five points, a decent enough return from three games considering they looked dead and buried against West Ham United (Boxing Day) and Peterborough (Bank Holiday Monday).
Steven Caldwell, who has seen it all before after promotions with Sunderland and Burnley, said Chris Hughton’s men were handily placed – but needed to give a little more yet.
“We’re right in the hunt, as are a lot of teams,” said the centre-half.
“It’s exciting and it’s the toughest Championship I’ve ever been a part of. So that makes it extra special if you do well.
“We’ve got more in us, too.
“We have to improve that five per cent, ten per cent to push on to that next level. We’ve got two teams yet to play in Ipswich Town and Portsmouth, and we’ve seen everybody else, we know we’re a match for anybody on our day.
“And we just have to keep going, keep working hard and improving, and make sure we stick in there to the real nitty gritty – and that’s when we need to stand up and be men.”
That’s at the business end of the season, when promotion and play-off positions are claimed, or squandered.
This weekend, however, the focus is on knockout cup football.