Premier League

Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar is encouraged by his partnership with Ciaran Clark

Ron Vlaar: Building a strong partnership with Ciaran Clark

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Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar believes his defensive partnership with Ciaran Clark is gradually improving, although he admits they can do more to help pull the club away from the Premier League relegation zone.

The pair helped frustrate Tottenham in the first half of Saturday's game at White Hart Lane before Villa eventually lost 2-0.

But Vlaar, a summer signing from Feyenoord, has seen enough to offer encouragement and Clark's form has led to him being drafted into the Republic of Ireland squad to face Germany and Faroe Islands.

"The partnership with Ciaran is good but I think we have to improve, for the team and for ourselves," he told the club's official website.

"Communication can always be better and we talk to each other a lot about moments in the game, situations that have happened and what can happen in future.

"I think everybody has to improve. It is a long way but we have to keep it up and move forward."