Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne is desperate for the back four to tighten up as a unit.
Free-scoring Chelsea will provide Gerard Houllier with his toughest test to date when they arrive at Villa Park this weekend with an abundance of goalscoring talent.
The champions have scored 25 times already with goals coming from all areas of the pitch.
The potent strikeforce of Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba alone is enough to reduce any backline to a quivering wreck.
But Dunne is determined to help Villa shut up shop and record more clean sheets, starting with Saturday’s tough test.
“Last year we started off with a clean sheet against Birmingham and Portsmouth and then we didn’t have one for five or six games,” the Irish centre-back said.
“It was frustrating for us all because we just wanted to keep one just to get our confidence back.
“It’s the same now, we’ve had one then conceded again.
“We just want to get into a run now with keeping it tight at the back.
“We know with the strikers we’ve got and the options we’ve got up front that we’ll always have a chance of scoring.
“So us as defenders, if we can keep clean sheets then it gives us the confidence that we’ll score goals and win more games than we’ll draw and lose this year.”
So far this season, Villa have kept two clean sheets out of their opening seven games.
Home victories over West Ham and Everton were also boosted by the fact Villa held firm in defence.
Apart from Chelsea, who have not let in a single goal on home soil in the league, Villa hold the best defensive home record in the Premiership. Bolton’s Kevin Davies is the only man to have scored for an opposing team at Villa Park.
But their away record is quite the opposite. Both Villa and Blackpool have each conceded 11 goals on the road – the worst in the top flight.
Dunne’s team-mate Luke Young feels it’s not just the defenders who should be held responsible though, as the whole team needs to work together to cut out the goals.
“It’s difficult because everyone looks at the back four and the goalkeeper for clean sheets but if you look at the best sides who keep the most clean sheets I think it’s the collective XI who defend well,’’ he said.
“It’s especially the two banks – the defence and the midfield who work hard together. We’ve seen slowly that we’re now more of a solid unit since the new manager has come in.”