Aston Villa striker John Carew believes Emile Heskey's detractors should lay off the England international.
Heskey has taken some criticism after scoring just two goals following his January arrival from Wigan Athletic.
The 31-year-old's switch to Villa Park coincided with a downturn in results as the Midlands club slipped out of contention for a top-four finish.
But Carew claims Heskey's work off the ball and link-up play marks him out as a quality striker.
"I was out for quite a while with no idea when I was going to return. The club obviously needed a striker because we were short up front," he told the club's official website.
"Emile's a great player and we did well to sign him. I think he's done well and his arrival was good for competition up front. The more good players you have at a football club, the better for the team.
"Emile has been part of raising the levels, absolutely. We scored a lot of goals and I think the competition has helped us with that.
"His arrival certainly lifted my game. It made all the players - particularly the strikers - lift their level of performance. His arrival has been a positive thing - 100 per cent."