MK Dons have bonded far better than Jordan Houghton would have imagined, despite 10 new faces joining the squad over the summer.
The 24-year-old signed from Doncaster and has been a mainstay in Paul Tisdale's side this season as their undefeated start to the campaign continued on Saturday with a 0-0 draw away at Crewe.
Houghton, along with defender Jordan Moore-Taylor, drew praise from Tisdale in the aftermath of the draw at the Alexandra Stadium, and the midfielder said he was impressed at how quickly the new players have settled into the side.
He said: "I can't speak for last season, but coming into this, it's a very relaxed environment which has helped everyone. There has been a lot of new players which, on paper, you'd think it would take time to gel but I think we look solid and it's a good platform to build on and improve.
"We look like a very solid team. There will always be time when we come under pressure but we defended the box and goal well. It's a good platform to attack from too. It's not just me, but the back three as well - we're not just clearing out into the stand, we're putting the ball into areas to put the strikers in on goal."
The goal-less draw at Crewe was far from a bore-draw. Both sides had chances, with Kieran Agard hitting the bar in the first half while Crewe had the upper hand late in the second half, helped by Mathieu Baudry's 89th minute red card.
Houghton said it was a good point to pick up though, extending Dons' undefeated start to the season while picking up a point at a tough ground to visit.
He added: "It's a tough place to come. It was always going to be tough, but a good game too. But going down to 10 men towards the end, we have to look at it as a good point. We battled well, and stuck together which we have done in every game. We've looked solid. We'd have liked to have come away with three points but it's another clean sheet and a good point.
"I think on another day, those shots deflect in but they had a couple of good chances too. It was an entertaining 0-0 to be honest. We have to look at the positives heading into Tuesday."