Phil Edwards admits it’s an unusual accolade for Accrington Stanley to have one of the meanest defences in the country.
The unbeaten Reds have conceded just one League Two goal in their six games so far and the clean sheet bonuses are certainly keeping the players happy.
Another one against Lincoln tonight would do just nicely and long-serving defender Edwards admits it is something of a turnaround for the Reds, who, on average over the last four League Two seasons, have conceded two goals a game.
"We have been used to conceding around 70 or 80 goals a season and hopefully starting like we have will make a big difference," said the 24-year-old.
"If you want to win things and do well in this league you have got to have a strong defence and so far it is going well for us. If we can keep it up I can see no reason why we can’t be challenging at the top end of the table."
Edwards has formed an instant partnership with former Macclesfield defender Sean Hessey and the pair have clicked together in the heart of the Reds defence.
"I think it is perhaps because he is similar to myself, he likes to pass the ball out of defence and we cover each other," said Edwards, who has been at the Crown Ground since 2005. "He fitted in well straight away and it has just carried on from there.
"In fact both Jonny Bateson and Sean have adapted and fitted in with Dean Winnard and myself and, so far, we have kept the goals out – although we were mad at the one we conceded against Wycombe but you do start to be hard on yourself."
Boss John Coleman has adapted his system this season playing Andy Procter and Charlie Barnett just in front of the back four.
"That’s a big reason we have done so well as those two sitting in front of us means the defence are a lot less exposed and it’s another line the opposition has to get past," continued the centre-half. "So far it has worked for us with five clean sheets in our six games.
"In the past we have been more of an attacking team with 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 formations and we have scored plenty of goals but never kept that many clean sheets – we seem to have got it right at the back at the moment and hopefully the goals will come."
Edwards, as penalty taker last season, chipped in with nine goals and he is hoping he can make a mark at the other end too, as Stanley look to increase their four-goal league tally so far.
"I am trying my best to get over the halfway line at the moment but I do go up for set pieces and hopefully I can get a few goals."
The Reds haven’t yet scored on their travels but are unbeaten away from home with three draws and Edwards believes they are good results, judging by who they have played.
They have come up against Northampton and Oxford so far before last Saturday’s goalless encounter at Torquay.
Edwards has done well in all the games but admitted: "They have all been tough but it shows how we have improved from last season.
"Last year we went to Northampton and Torquay and lost but this season we have taken a point from each. All those teams are tipped to do well this season so they are good results but we know that they will only be good results if we win our home games, starting tonight."
Friday night football is something the Reds have tried before to boost their crowds and they are hoping it is another success.
"It will be a great weekend if we win as we will get the weekend off. If we lose it will be a long weekend as we will be in for training on Sunday so we need a win," smiled Edwards, who is closing in on playing 150 consecutive games.
And despite this he knows any mistakes - no matter how well the season has started - and he is not guaranteed his place in the starting line-up.
Coleman has got a strong squad with cover in most positions if his team does stop getting the right results.
"We know that there is a 23-man squad and there are the likes of Andy Owens and Tom Smyth waiting in the wings," Edwards added. "We all know that if we do not perform then we could be out so it does keep us all on our toes."
Coleman has a full squad to choose from and this could include midfielder Ray Putterill.
The club was expected to hear from the Football Association yesterday (Thursday) whether their appeal against Putterill’s suspension until October 10 was successful.
Putterill was given the ban from the Liverpool County FA for foul and abusive language to a referee while playing for Halewood Town last season. He, however, insists he wasn’t aware of the ban - which was 42-days plus another seven starting on August 30 - and so never had the chance to appeal against the severity of it, which he should have had. The club have asked the FA to look at the case as an interim measure and see if they can suspend the ban so he can play tonight.
The club are going to plead not guilty to playing an ineligible player, Putterill, in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Tranmere when they have a full hearing before the FA, with a date still to be decided.
Only after this hearing, when the FA¿make their decision, is there expected to be a decision from the Football League about whether Stanley will still be allowed to play in the JP Trophy competition.