Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised the partnership which Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark have formed at the heart of the team's defence.
The two players appeared to be reserve options at the start of the season, but an injury crisis at Villa Park has forced them into the side and they have excelled since.
Clark and Okore have played a major part in the side's turnaround, which has seen them pick up two wins in the their last three games, and Lambert paid tribute to their surprising impact this morning.
"Jores has been out for 14 months. He's getting better and better. He looks outstanding," Lambert told Villa's official site.
"Since Ciaran has been in the team, it's the best I have seen him play. He's been absolutely fantastic."
"The two of them have been brilliant for us. They look very good as a pair and they have a good understanding with each other."
"Sometimes you stumble on things and those two have been absolutely fantastic."
The duo's rock solid pairing has meant that the first-team future of Ron Vlaar has been plunged into doubt.
The Dutchman was considered one of Villa's key players, but breaking up such an effective combination would be a risk for Lambert to take.
Vlaar is back from injury, but he may have to bide his time before breaking back into the team's starting line-up.
"Ron is just back and he will see himself that those two have been excellent," Lambert said.
"It's good to have Ron back because we have a lot of games coming up over this Christmas period."
Villa face Manchester United this weekend as they look to return to winning ways following a disappointing Midlands derby defeat to West Bromwich Albion.