Martin Laursen's positive attitude to matters is paying big dividends Aston Villa go into Sunday's home game with Blackburn Rovers facing the unusual dilemma of how to respond to a defeat.
Last weekend's first reverse under Martin O'Neill against Liverpool was Villa's first loss since also going down at Anfield in the penultimate game of last season.
Coming on the back of three successive draws (admittedly, the first of them was at champions Chelsea), Villa's run of three points out of a possible 12 is an indication that O'Neill's side have finally reached that point of 'levelling out' which the new manager was expecting.
But there is still clearly a much more upbeat, positive feeling in the dressing room under O'Neill than there was under David O'Leary. Denmark international defender Martin Laursen believes that, although their 'unbeaten' tag has gone, Villa are now more equipped to respond to setbacks like Saturday's at Anfield than they were a year ago.
"Everything is more positive now," said Laursen. "There is definitely a better atmosphere and I have to be honest and say it wasn’t that good at the end under David O’Leary.
"There wasn’t a really good atmosphere around the club and some players looked like they were going to leave.
"We didn’t perform well on the pitch and it was for everyone’s best interests that a new manager came in."
Laursen was not actually at the club for most of last season as he was recovering from the knee injury that kept him out for almost a year. But, with Denmark international team-mate Thomas Sorensen still at the club, he was not surprised when the full measure of Villa's dressing-room discontent was finally made public, prior to O'Leary's departure.
And, although he has so far been limited to just three starts under O'Neill, Laursen cannot emphasise enough just how much happier the club is under a new regime.
"The first impression of the manager was he was a very honest, intelligent and positive person," said Laursen. "He has shown a winners' mentality and he hates to lose.
"We have drawn too many games which we should have won, which has disappointed him but he's still had a very good start and, as the team is pretty much the same, he must have done something good."
After leaking three goals at Anfield, Laursen could earn a recall on Sunday and make only his second Villa Park start in 15 months, since aggravating his knee condition in the first game of last season. But the positive-thinking Dane is more concerned simply with the team getting back to winning ways in the Premiership, for the first time since beating Charlton Athletic six weeks ago.
"We all don’t like to lose but we are not Manchester United or Chelsea," he said. "Once in a while, we will lose games and we just have to move on.
"Losing at Anfield is not a big drama, but Blackburn is a team we should be looking to beat."
If Laursen does play on Sunday and picks up his first Villa win bonus in more than 18 months, it ought to make good viewing at least for the one-man Danish camera crew who have tracked (almost) his every move, even following him to Colorado and back, in his brave comeback from such a career-threatening injury.
"He was in America with me to talk to Dr Richard Steadman and he has been here at the training ground talking with some of the players," said Laursen. "It is only in the early stages, but it is just a programme about football and my career and it's supposed to be a positive thing.
"There were many times when I thought I was never going to be able to come back because I couldn’t be given a 100 per cent guarantee. It was hard mentally but I wanted to do everything to try to get fit again because then, if it wasn’t to be, I would have no regrets. I didn’t want to sit here and think 'What if I believed a bit more or worked a bit harder'?"