Brad Guzan believes Aston Villa are benefiting from having more experience at the back after making a solid start to the campaign.
Villa had the worst defensive record of any team to stay up last term, as manager Paul Lambert had to rely on a set of young players.
This season, Lambert has selected a new-look back four, with goalkeeper Guzan shielded by Alan Hutton, Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos and Aly Cissokho, and the American is happy with how they are working at the moment.
Villa are yet to concede a goal in the Premier League, having followed up an opening-day 1-0 victory at Stoke City with a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United on Saturday.
“They never really looked like threatening the goal,” Guzan said in the Daily Star. “In the first half we put some quality balls into the box and showed what we are about.
"We're a bit of a different team. On another day we could have nicked a goal and got the three points.
"No disrespect to the guys who were in before but we are benefiting from having a bit of experience in there.
"We are harder to beat, which is starting to shine through."
Guzan is grateful for everything the back four have done so far but was still needed to produce a good save against Newcastle as he denied Siem de Jong with just a couple of minutes to go.
"I was just happy to play my part really,” said Guzan.
"Up to that point the guys in front of me had made my job quite easy. I hadn't had much to do in terms of saves.
"When you have a defence in front of you that are prepared to put it on the line and make blocks and tackles it makes it easier for a keeper.
"I thought we were a little bit unlucky not to get three points.
"Yes, they might have had a bit more of the ball, but up until that save I didn't really have anything to do."