Goalkeeper Brad Guzan believes the togetherness in Aston Villa’s squad will help them climb the Premier League table after declaring: “We’re all on the same page.”
Guzan produced match-saving heroics to earn the claret and blues their first point of the season during a much improved performance at Newcastle United.
Sunday’s 1-1 draw at the St James’ Park ground, now known as the Sports Direct Arena, was the American’s first Premier League appearance of the season after ousting Shay Given for the first time in the top flight.
However, rather than take the plaudits for two vital saves, Guzan preferred to salute the unity and team ethic Paul Lambert has instilled in the squad in the past few months.
Some pundits have included Villa among their top tips to become embroiled in a relegation battle because of the lack of top-flight experience at Lambert’s disposal, but Guzan is convinced the team can be competitive.
“We have the belief amongst ourselves to go out, play football and create chances – we’re all on the same page,” said Guzan. “We know as a team it’s not going to be an easy road. It never is. If it was easy everybody would be doing it.
“Hopefully we can stay on the same page, and we can keep moving forwards and we can build on the performance and result at Newcastle.
“We have got a young team but we have got a bunch of hungry lads that want to get after it and do well and prove themselves to the manager. When you put all of those things together, good things will happen.
“We know the first two games were a bit of a stumble but to come to a place like this and get our season off to a start now is really important for us going into the international break.
“It was important we got on the board heading into the break and we can take this now and build on it going forward. We have competitiveness in training and that makes us better.
“At the end of the day if we keep moving up the table that’s all we want.”
Guzan, who was a perennial understudy in his previous four years at Villa, got the nod over Given on Tyneside following the Irish veteran’s creaking start to the season.