Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v Southampton

Saturday, 19 April 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Selhurst Park

Last Game

C Palace 1 - 0 A Villa

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 15:07

Barclays Prem

Clark thrives on Baker rivalry

Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark believes healthy competition in the defensive ranks at Villa Park is helping the team learn from previous mistakes.

Last Updated: 15/11/13 at 16:56 Post Comment   

Ciaran Clark: Believes Aston Villa are learning from their mistakes

Ciaran Clark: Believes Aston Villa are learning from their mistakes

Villa endured a turbulent ride last term, conceding 69 top-flight goals and keeping just five clean sheets leading to the club's worst defensive record of the Premier League era.

Clark was joined by 22-year-old Nathan Baker at the heart of Villa's penetrable defence last season, but the 24-year-old insists they have developed from their earlier errors.

The homegrown duo, alongside captain Ron Vlaar, are much improved this season, culminating in four clean sheets in their opening 11 fixtures.

Clark, who helped thwart both Norwich and Hull City before Barker joined him to shut out West Ham and Cardiff, believes the friendly rivalry between the pair is spurring them on.

"When you get on you have to try to take your chance and I think both of us have done that this season," Clark told the Birmingham Mail. "We've both played well and both want to be involved and play.

"We are good mates and if one of us is playing the other one will fully back the other lad. I think that's the kind of belief we've got here at Villa.

"Whoever's not playing wants the 11 players out there to do well and I think that will take us far.

"All last season we were learning the whole time. It was a young squad last year, and each game we played in we were learning. But last season's gone now and we need to concentrate on this year.

"We've had a very tough start. Considering the top sides we've played against, we've managed to pick up quite a few points.

"Hopefully we can get some consistency going, keep the belief and confidence that's there and we'll have a good season. It's always nice as a defender to keep clean sheets."

Fellow centre-back Jores Okore has been ruled out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury but Clark believes the solidarity brought by veteran duo Brad Guzan and Vlaar is also aiding his learning.

"It's not nice to see any of the lads get injured," Clark added.

"All our thoughts are with Jores and hopefully he can come back fit and well as soon as possible, that's the main thing.

"Both Brad and Ron have been brilliant for us last season and this. To play alongside both of them is brilliant for me.

"They're both experienced players and I think they're both coming into their own really. I'll obviously keep learning more and more playing with those two."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Transfer news: Damien Duff already planning for life after Fulham

Damien Duff has confirmed that he will be leaving Fulham this summer and will be going in search of 'something new'.

Premier League: Harry Kane feels youngsters are crucial to Tottenham's cause

Harry Kane believes he and a number of fellow academy graduates are capable of holding down regular roles at Tottenham.

Agent denies Kroos interest

Toni Kroos' agent Volker Struth has denied Manchester United have made an offer for his client, insisting the 24-year-old will stay at Bayern.

Mail Box

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property