Aston Villa defender Zat Knight is praying his defensive partners Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen put pen to paper on their Villa contracts soon - he feels he is learning so much from the experienced Scandinavians.
The 27-year-old centre-half has become a regular in Villa's back four alongside Laursen in the centre while Mellberg has taken up the vacant right-back position with Freddie Bouma on the left.
Knight, a boyhood Villa fan, claims he could not have better defenders to work with and hopes the current line-up will be in place for a long time to come.
He said: "Of course I hope they sign new contracts - I am very happy working alongside them but then that is out of my hands!"
Knight believes Saturday's opponents in a 12.45pm kick-off hold no fear - Villa take on fellow European contenders Portsmouth at Villa Park and plan to build on their impressive second-half performance against Arsenal and revert to winning ways.
Knight believes the fact Villa managed to give Arsenal a real run for their money shows how far the side has come and, while he has huge respect for Pompey, he insists Villa will not be fazed by a club also chasing European qualification.
The Villa centre-half, who joined Martin O'Neill from Fulham in the summer, said: "Footballing-wise Arsenal have been the best of the top four sides we have played now.
"In the first half their movement off the ball and their movement with the ball was so impressive. They were so comfortable with the ball. We were just watching them but then in the second half we came out and did really well.
"Arsenal have done really well since Thierry Henry left. There have soaked up the pressure and they don't look like they miss him now.
"But then we played well second half and feel we should have got at least a point from the game. We went out and we should have punished them.
"We didn't concede second half and that shows how far we have come. They know now it is hard to come to Aston Villla."
Knight said the team were now waiting to see who their manager would bring in to bolster the squad come January and he said additional players would be welcome even though that might make competition for places a little tougher.
The Solihull-born defender said: "If we can get into Europe it is definitely going to attract bigger names, bigger players, the best players. We are in a great position now and if the manager can add to the squad in January that bodes well.
"The fans are great and have been all week especially away at Blackburn and Middlesbrough and it really helps having them behind us."
Knight knows first-hand how tough Harry Redknapp's Pompey side will be at the weekend - he played against them in the Hong Kong Tournament in pre-season while still with Fulham.
He said: "They have Benjanyi and he is a strong player - he is quick. I don't really concentrate on other players but try to concentrate on my own game.
"Pompey are a good side. They have a lot of internationals and they have a lot of young players and they are trying to build something.
"We are trying to do the same thing and both of us are going the right way so it should make a good game next week."