Goalkeeper Ben Foster believes the fine start to his Birmingham City career is down to "feeling needed and wanted".

Foster made a £6million move from Manchester United during the summer after a lack of first-team opportunities.

He had a hard act to follow after the outstanding campaign enjoyed by Joe Hart while on loan from Manchester City laid the foundations for him to become the England number one.

But Foster has been back to his best for Alex McLeish's side and kept another clean sheet during Sunday's goalless draw at Aston Villa.

And McLeish has claimed Foster made an even better start to his time at St Andrew's than Hart, who was guilty of early-season errors and uncertainty.

Foster said: "It is nice to hear things like that. Joe has done really well this season and last season as well.

"I think the start of last season was a bedding-in period for Joe. He had a few seasons when he hadn't been playing regular football and I know how that is. It is not nice.

"When you can finally settle into a team and know you are playing first-team football and are an important part of the team, it is a good feeling.

"It is something I and him similarly get a buzz from. People say I look full of confidence but it really is just from playing first-team football, knowing you are needed and wanted.

"It's a feeling I've not really had for a good few years and I'm loving every minute of it as well."

Foster is also quick to recognise the influence of Birmingham goalkeeping coach Dave Watson, the former England Under-21 player.

He said: "Dave has been fantastic. I met Dave just before I signed. I'd heard a lot about him which was so positive.

"Now I'm here he is a great guy to work with. He is a bit busy at times but he is a top man. He is one of those who will listen to you but you know he is always going to give you plenty (of advice) back as well."

Foster's outstanding form has also provided a personal bonus by helping the success of his "dream team".

He joked: "It is nice to have had two successive clean sheets and good for my dream team, because I am the goalie in my team.

"In my mini league I'm on fire. I'm top at the minute. I'll have to wait to the update to see where I am."