Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar believes the loyalty manager Paul Lambert shows to his players is crucial for their development.
Villa finished the 2012-13 season just five points ahead of the drop zone to narrowly avoid relegation.
Despite a turbulent season Vlaar insists Villa are learning from their mistakes but admits Lambert would never highlight any short-falling in the media.
While Lambert does address his concerns behind closed doors, the Dutchman claims the manager's stoic defence of his men in the limelight is paving the way forward for the Villans.
"He lets us know in private but I cannot think of one instance since I've been here where he has criticised any of us in public," he told The Sun.
"He always protects his players and that is appreciated within the dressing room.
"He would rather take the blame himself than blame one of us in front of the fans.
"It's really helped us through some difficult times."
Vlaar understands each manager has their own way of working but believes Lambert strikes a fine balance and extracts the best from his squad.
"Every trainer has their own thinking and methods," he added. "But you can only work with the players you have.
"Every player is a little different and we all respond to different treatment. Everyone has their own ego and their own personality.
"As a coach you have to find the right level and how to treat each player individually to get the best out of them.
"I think our manager is very good at that."
Vlaar has witnessed several managers lambast their players in front of the cameras, few more than Paulo Di Canio after Sunderland's 6-1 defeat to Villa at the end of last term, but remains adamant the Lambert method breeds trust as the club set their sights high.
"We all know managers who will take pressure off themselves by criticising players publicly," he said.
"But ours is always easy and relaxed when he talks to the media about us and we trust him.
"That's what we did last year and we managed to avoid relegation. This year we've learned from our mistakes and so we are aiming higher."
What will be the outcome of Saturday's match?
Aston Villa win