There's something about a sunny day and hoards of Blue-noses that brings Stan out in a cold sweat.
Presumeably it's that indelibly-etched memory of that wall of Brummy-generated noise cascading its way around the Millennium Stadium before breaking 30,000 Norwich hearts, a few short years back, that does it.
Whatever the reason was for his lily-livered demeanour, Stan wasn't flushed with confidence as he left Stanley Towers for the ground.
What a fool Stan was to be so fearful. There was no need to worry, for there were no blue-nosed hoards nor a terrible finale. In fact, there were about 78 Birmingham fans in total, and Phillips was never going to score a last minute winner in a month of Sundays? was he?!
It says a lot about this performance that Stan turned for home?err, pub? feeling slightly aggrieved that we hadn't taken the three points. It was certainly more Cov (a) than Blackpool (h).
There was movement and purpose and a lot to be positive about. It's just a crying shame that we have garnered a rather pathetic one point for such an impressive, 180 minutes of football.
Stan wonders if it could have anything to do with starting the season short of a quality target man?? Mmm?maybe?? what if??? Nah? pull yourself together Stan, it's no use torturing yourself!
That said, Stan did have a half-time conversation about what the score would have been had a certain Dion Dublin been fit, available and wearing a yellow shirt rather than sitting on a Sky sofa?
For all Russell's endeavour we were crying out for a big physical presence in there. We genuinely must have been giving away three inches and two stone a man.
It wasn't just the lack of physicality that seemed to be a hindrance, it was the lack of a little bit of guile in that zone 20 yards from goal (Stan apologises for his imperial leanings, it's age not Euro-scepticism) that was glaring.
Just a few of the tricks an old master like Dion could have mustered would have made all the difference, for we were generally solid at the back and fluid through the middle. Even the final third wasn't an insurmountable problem.
It really was just an inability to put the ball in the old onion bag, or indeed create genuine clear cut chances that continued to prove beyond us.
On another day Lupoli, who was excellent for the 60 minutes that his legs lasted, would have got at least one penalty. As he was fouled and tumbled to the turf like an extra from 'A Bridge Too Far' you could almost hear the ref's thought process?'Mmm? Itailan? down in box?that'll be a dive then!'
Stan holds his hands up at this point and admits the same charge. It was only 30 seconds after both incidents that realisation struck that Lupoli actually had been fouled before hitting the deck!
At the back Stefanovic was excellent. It's not just his ability to read the game that is impressive, but also his distribution. He'd have made a great sweeper in the days when such a position was still in vogue. Come to think of it, why don't teams employ this system anymore?
It says a lot of Stefanovic and Kennedy's emergence that the sight of Tiny Taylor didn't cause Stan to burst into floods of 'what-might-have-been' tears. He'd undoubtedly have been a wonderful addition to any City squad but the fact we spent the game bemoaning problems at the other end says a lot about how far certain areas have improved over the last few months.
Bertrand was also excellent, Fozzy showed a good range of passes, Clingan was quietly effective and Marshall's save at the end was right out of the top draw. So all in all good stuff against an impressive, genuine heavy-weight contender.
We certainly gave Brum a lesson in ring-craft, it's just a shame we haven't got a decent left hook at the moment to enable us to put them on their fat ar*es! Of course this may be remedied by midnight on Monday and we can push on into the dark, shortening days of Autumn with optimism renewed.
Alternatively Tuesday morning's headline could merely be the tale of Shacks, right for all parties, departure and an ultimately futile pursuit of a certain Scandinavian.
Now that really does bring Stan out in a cold sweat!