Solid defence is the ideal foundation for MK Dons
A shaky and nervous defence has almost been a trademark for MK Dons in recent years, but this year's back line already looks to have all the hallmarks of a vastly improved unit.
Conceding just one goal in their opening three matches, and having played as a four and a five, Lee Nicholls said he has made just one diving save this season thanks to the stern defence in front of him.
Whether it be the returning Joe Walsh, back in the side after six months in the treatment room, or new signing Jordan Moore-Taylor barking orders to the rest of the defence, Nicholls says he much prefers to have a quiet afternoon compared to last season.
He said: "It's very good! It's nice now and then to know you've made a few saves but I'd rather come off having made no saves and have a clean sheet!
"Whoever has played in front of me has been different class. I think I've only had to make one diving save so far this season, which is a totally different experience from last season to be honest. We have been solid. It is fluid but as a group we're together and we're such a better team.
"Joe Walsh is like a new signing since he came back. Both he and Alex Gilbey have been different class.
"Jordan has taken it upon himself to be the leader of the defence and to be honest I'm over the moon with him. He's solid, he's a big communicator and he hates conceding goals, like me. I couldn't ask for anything more from the players in front of me."
Summer signing Ryan Watson also praised the back line after their clean-sheet victory over Charlton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
He said: "It's solid foundation, that's what we've got to build on. We've got ot keep them out at one end and score at the other. All the lads were brilliant, from Lee and the back five, they were all superb."