Winger Brett Holman believes Aston Villa can take confidence from their performances against Manchester United and Arsenal ahead of Tuesday evening's home clash with fellow strugglers Reading.
Villa were edged out 3-2 by United after leading 2-0 and came within inches at the weekend of defeating Arsenal when Holman's shot hit the bar during the latter stages of the goalless draw. The midlands club climbed out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for 24 hours but dropped back below the safety line after Southampton's win over Newcastle.
Holman said: "Considering the previous two matches were lost, the point against Arsenal has given us a good boost ahead of Tuesday. I think we can look back at the games against United and Arsenal and say we are doing well. We need to sort our away form out, but it's looking better."
When asked how much being in the bottom three was a talking point, Holman said: "Not at all really. Everyone knows about it but we never really spoke about it in the dressing room.
"It's still early doors. Obviously, everyone knows what situation we are in. We are all grown-ups and we have all been around the block.
"We need to grit out teeth, get stuck in and do things correctly."
Australia international Holman is confident Villa have the capabilities to come out on top against the Royals, particularly if they are as solid defensively as against the Gunners.
He said: "It's a big game, whichever way you put it, and it's up to us to do things similarly to against Arsenal, certainly defensively.
"I think we have enough quality and talent to easily nick a goal. But the game plan at the weekend was to keep things tight especially when you think in the previous two games we had conceded eight goals.
"It was important not to concede. It was good, it was refreshing and I don't think Brad Guzan had to make a lot of saves. The way we have been playing, we have looked likely to nick a point but it was important we kept a clean sheet."