Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has lent his praise to the side and says that increased competition for places is the reason for their improvement.
The Villains are currently 14th in the league but were impressive in a 3-1 opening day win over Arsenal at the Emirates and produced good performances in their two recent losses against Chelsea and Liverpool.
Lambert's side flirted with relegation last season yet the Scotsman believes things are looking much rosier this time around.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, he said: "There's no doubt that the team from about February onwards were starting to click, you could sense that.
"We started to get results and the only ones to beat us were the top four. We've started well this season, too."
The ex-Norwich boss had a successful summer, having captured seven new signings and managing to hold onto star striker Christian Benteke as a bonus. This new competition for places is something Lambert believes is vital to the club going forward.
"Competition is something we didn't really have last year," the 44-year-old said.
"You need the competition because it is important and healthy for everyone at the club. We have that across the board now."
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