Matthew Lowton: Villa's brothers in arms
Matthew Lowton today revealed a bond has begun to develop among Villa's defenders as they go in search of another clean sheet against Manchester United.
Villa notched up their second Premier League shutout of the season against Sunderland last weekend, and of the back four that started at the Stadium of Light only Ciaran Clark was at the club last season.
But after 10 league matches together Lowton, who joined Villa from Sheffield United for £3m in the summer, claimed strong relationships on the pitch have started to form.
"We have started to really gel as a unit and understand how each other plays. Everyone knows what everyone is doing," said the 23-year-old right-back
"We worked hard on things in pre-season and we have started to see the benefits of it. Our energy and effort have improved a lot. But the nature of football is that we move on, and there is another massive game this weekend.
"Personally, I have faced some tough challenges already but think I've done all right. I'm picking up little things here and there which help me to improve as a player.
"I've noticed the step up – everyone sees things quicker in the Premier League but I think I have coped ok so far.
"I am loving playing in the Premier League and playing at some of these fantastic grounds. Without being disrespectful to them I was going to place like Yeovil last season," said Lowton.
"Playing alongside, and against, top Premier League players week-in, week-out is a dream come true for me and long may it continue."
Lowton also admitted Villa's players have worked hard to reduce their susceptibility from set-piece situations having conceded more than anyone else in the English top-flight last season.
"That was before I came but as a defence we know that we've got to improve that," added Lowton.
"We work a lot on set-pieces – both defensively and attacking wise – and up until the Fulham game we had defended them well.
"There were not free headers or anything but it's sods law that you make a tiny mistake and you are punished."
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