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Guzan brushes off praise after Aston Villa victory over QPR

The American goalkeeper was satisfied to simply play a part in the vital 3-2 win at Villa Park on Saturday and hailed the togetherness of Paul Lambert's young squad.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan brushed off praise after he played a key part in his club's crucial 3-2 victory over QPR on Saturday.

The USA international made two spectacular saves in quick succession to twice deny Christopher Samba in the first half at Villa Park. Despite the plaudits that followed, Guzan insisted that he was simply doing his job within the team as Paul Lambert's side boosted its survival hopes.

"As a goalkeeper, you are called upon to make saves," he told reporters. "Fortunately, I was able to keep a few out of the back of the net and give the guys in front of me a chance to level the score and go on and win the game.

"It makes you feel good when you leave that facial expression on strikers when they try to score. It is about trying to prove myself week in week out and trying to get better. It is nice to feel you have helped play your part in getting a result."

Guzan has had to deal with the errors made by a young defensive group that includes the likes of Joe Bennett, Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark this season but lauded the togetherness of the Villa squad.

"The guys in front of me are keeping me on my toes!" he admitted. "People are going to make mistakes. That is the nature of football. It is how you respond from those mistakes and stick together as a team and a club. If someone makes a mistake, you pick them up and dust them off.

"The character of individuals and our team... I think we have definitely shown that in the last two games. We are a close group. When you are down at the bottom of the table, it is about fighting and scrapping and helping the guy next to you. If he makes a mistake, you pick him up."

The 28-year-old, who has replaced Shay Given as first-choice goalkeeper, acknowledged that the victory over QPR was doubly important because of the blow dealt to the opponent.

"Every game is a cup final," he added. "We know that and this was no different. It was very important we got three points, especially being the home team.

"The fact we were able to go and do that, especially being down a goal, gives us a bit of a lift. And it takes a little out of them."

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