a clean sheet.
It has been a constantly changing defensive cast throughout the season so far and the most recent absentee has been Dean Richards - a rock at the heart of our defence who gives confidence to those around him.
He was missing from the defeats at Newcastle in the Premiership and Southampton in the cup - also absent from the 4-3 win over Everton with knee and Achilles problems.
Dean was back in a central defensive pairing with Ledley on Saturday and both the boss and his young partner feels he makes a big difference to restricting entries to the 'goals against' column.
"He dominates the forwards and it gives you confidence playing alongside him," said Ledley, who pointed out that a clean sheet was high on the list of priorities against Aston Villa.
"I think the last one was Leeds - quite a while back - so we wanted to keep a clean sheet. We mainly wanted the three points, but a clean sheet is an added bonus.
"It's such a tough league we a lot of teams fighting it out. If we can put a little run together I'm sure we can shoot right up there. That is our aim."
For Ledley King and his defensive colleagues it was a case of mission accomplished on Saturday at Villa Park - three points