Brad Guzan insists Paul Lambert's managerial approach is working wonders at Villa.
Stopper Guzan says the manager gives his players the confidence to perform on the highest stage week-in and week-out.
Villa's goalkeeping ace insists that freedom is the watchword of Lambert's ethos, so long as it's coupled with a disciplined team shape.
He said: "He gives the boys confidence. He gives that vibe of 'listen each of you is a good player, go and express yourself on the pitch'.
"But he ensures you know there's a way he wants to play, a style he wants to play and he gets that across.
"Everyone makes mistakes - a missed chance, misplaced pass, a mistimed tackle - but he doesn't strike that fear into players like others do if you make an error.
"He gets behind you, he's the first to say 'shake it off, get on with it.'
"When you have that support from the manager, it gives you the confidence and freedom to go and put my body on the line, go and fight for your team-mates, the staff and the club.
"The gaffer is good at relaying messages to players.He tells the players what he expects and then, at the end of the day, it's up to the players to go and do their jobs on the pitch.
"When you have a manager like that - someone who cangive you the freedom to play but at the same time have the discipline to be organised and understand what we're trying to do as a team - it's a good mix."
Guzan also hailed the influence of goalkeeping coach Terry Gennoe, who he says has helped him "push on to the next level."
He added: "The past few years have been really good.
"He's helped me push on to the next level and stay there, keep me fit and on my toes.
"It's important as a goalkeeper that you're constantly seeing balls in training that are game-like situations.
"That's what we recreate. And he does a fantastic job."
Snap up the training top as worn by Lambert.