Paul Lambert has hailed the performances of Ron Vlaar so far this season, calling him Mr Reliable.
Vlaar had a stop-start campaign in his first Barclays Premier League season, as he suffered with a host of niggling injuries.
But so far this term, Vlaar has been a top-flight ever-present and excelled in a more defensively resolute backline.
Skipper Vlaar has been the wise head in central defence, looking sturdy alongside young starlets Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore.
Boss Lambert has clearly been impressed with his contribution.
He said: "Ron is reliable. He'll always be there for you.
"He's not the most ferocious character I've ever seen but you don't have to be like that to lead by example.
"Everybody is different and this season Ron's found his feet a lot more than he did last year.
"His form at the moment is very good."
Lambert was equally ebullient about the form - and influence - of No.1 Brad Guzan, who has also starred at the back this term.
It's Guzan's positivity that most endears him to Lambert.
He added: "Brad is positive. He's even positive about rain!
"He's the same way every day, a great guy and a great professional who is playing really well.
"That's what you need, win lose or draw, you need that positivity.
You don't change that just because you've won or lost a game. You keep that. That will stand you in good stead."
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