Villa a tough nut to crack - Vlaar
Latest news update:
Ron Vlaar believes Aston Villa have learned their lessons from last season and are getting defensively better all the time.
Vlaar joined the club last summer but endured an up-and-down first season as Villa conceded 69 goals in the league, their highest total since the Premier League began.
However, an improvement in the Dutch defender's form has coincided with Paul Lambert's men becoming tighter at the back, keeping three clean sheets already this season.
Having kept five clean sheets in the entire campaign last time around, Vlaar says Villa are moving in the right direction, claiming he and his team-mates have learnt a lot in the last year.
"Last year it wasn't that bad but I knew I could do better. That was my aim at the start of this season. I wanted consistency. I wanted to perform in every game," the Villa skipper told the Birmingham Mail.
"The general feeling among the team is that we're getting better. The feeling in the group is we are developing and progressing all the time. It's now about pushing forward together.
"We certainly have a good resilience now. That's a good thing. That's been shown this season already.
"I was talking to Brad (Guzan) and I told him: 'You're not going to have to make as many saves as last year!' Some of his saves last season weren't simple either. He had to make some world-class saves!
"We all know he can still do that - but we don't want him to. We're more solid as a team. We're more together on the field. That's a very good thing."