Kieran Richardson has lavished praise on Sunderland team-mates Teemu Tainio and Dean Whitehead.
Tainio and Whitehead have both been quietly impressive for the Black Cats in the defensive midfield position so far this season.
Richardson appreciates their hard work and feels their efforts allow others to express themselves in attack.
"Teemu fits the defensive role perfectly - sitting in front of the defence, breaking up play, getting the ball and passing it simply - and Deano does that as well," Richardson told the Sunderland Echo.
"They both do it to high standards. You look for balance all over a team and often that's the way it works in central midfield with one playing a more defensive role and another a more attacking role.
"They fit that role perfectly. Hopefully the more and more we play together the more settled they'll get too, because that role can sometimes be one of the most important on the pitch."
Richardson was plagued by injuries last season but he is confident of making a major impact over the coming months if he can stay fully fit.
However, the former Manchester United man accepts that he has yet to find his best form this term.
He said: "I missed a major part of last season. But I try to forget about that - it's gone. It's a new season and I'm fine now. I'm raring to go and I'm hungrier than ever.
"At the end of last season I said to myself I wanted to come back in great shape for the new season and I've managed to do that in all honesty. I trained over the summer and got in good condition.
"Now it's about going out there and delivering. It's all well and good doing it in training but going out there and doing it on Saturday is where it really counts.
"It's just about going out there and playing to the best of my ability, which I haven't really done enough on match days so far."