Villa v Ipswich: Herd says close camp has "real belief"
Chris Herd says the players head into the Ipswich clash and beyond with "real belief."
Herd insists team spirit has always been at tip-top levels but he admits the Swansea performance and result has given the squad a real shot in the arm heading into the second half of the season.
That starts with the FA Cup game at Villa Park on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
He said: "It was a really good effort by the team to come back from a goal behind at Swansea and we were only denied the win right at the end of the game.
"Our mentality is strong and the fans have been really behind us all season, so we're very positive and looking forward with real belief.
"That is key, definitely. I think the team spirit has always been there.
"The gaffer has been really good in terms of maintaining that spirit and the boys have responded.
"There's a real spirit in the dressing room among all the lads.
"Obviously, the more senior guys like Ron and Gabby, Brett and Darren, Karim and the likes of Brad, Shay, Richard, Stephen and Charles, they're big voices in there and there's a real togetherness with us all.
"We're very positive as a team and as a squad and we're all focussed on the job we need to do.
"The Swansea game was a really good response and we have to try to build on that."
Herd is down on the squad profile section of the official website as a midfielder.
But in reality, it's hard to label him such is his versatility.
He's played in central midfield and right-back and for a very brief spell at centre-half before this current run of games in the heart of the defence.
It's a role he's enjoying although he's happy as long as he's playing - and helping the team.
He said: "I do my best in training and in the games and hopefully that gets me in to the starting XI.
"But it's all about the team and what we do together as a team. That's very much the approach for everybody.
"I can play in a couple of positions and, to be honest, I'm just happy to play and help the team.
"Whatever position you play you just have to do your job. It's a team and everybody chips in and does their job. I'm happy to do mine wherever on the pitch that is.
"I just try to take my chance and keep trying to improve by working hard in training and doing the best I can always."
It's helped that he's turned out with Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker, players who, like him, came through the academy system, now ranked No.1 in the country.
He added: "When we were young there was a group of lads who all stuck together. We all came to the club at the same time.
"That was good and helped us in terms of settling in and all of that. We've stayed close because we've progressed through the ranks and that's made the bond between us good and strong."
Pick up match tickets for the FA Cup clash with Ipswich.