Date: 8th September 2008 at 4:46pm
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Martin O’Neill believes that Brad Friedel’s experience is already paying dividends for the Villa defence, but he expects there will be more to come from him as the season progresses.

Friedel is only 3 games into his Villa career and kept his first clean sheet against Liverpool. O’Neill believes there will be plenty more cleansheets as the weeks progress and our defence gells.

‘I think that Brad Friedel is an immense signing. I’m absolutely delighted and he’s already had an influence on the players in front of him.

‘He’s talking them through things, telling them where to go. The start he’s made has been incredibly encouraging. Add to that the obvious fact that he’s an absolute quality goalkeeper.

‘We went into this summer just looking to get a bit more solidity at the back. That was something we didn’t possess last year when we conceded a lot of goals. We’ve tried our best to rectify that.

‘Defenders respond to a very commanding goalkeeper and Brad has definitely got that presence that you want at the back. He’s a very experienced goalkeeper and I’m delighted with the start he’s made.’

With Villa conceeding 51 goals last season, Friedel’s impact upon our new defence could make a hell of a difference to our points tally.