Cambridge United boss Shaun Derry says his team are finding defensive cohesion ahead of their League Two fixture against Newport County on Saturday.
The U's have only managed one win in their last six games, but have kept clean sheets in two of their last four.
"We're trying not to make as many changes in the back four," Derry told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
"But now it looks as though we've got a settled back four with competition behind them."
Cambridge failed to earn a clean sheet during Derry's first seven games with the club, but the ex-Queens Park Rangers midfielder believes his side are seeing the benefits of their hard work.
"It takes time to forge these relationships," he continued. "I don't just want to speak about two players for two positions, I think the squad's got so much more depth than that."
Cambridge travel to Newport to face a side who have lost their last four games and scored only once in their last five.
"We've still got so much to play for over the remaining games," said Derry, whose team are five points off the play-off places. "I'm not saying we need to win this weekend. I'm saying over the course of the next two games three points are absolutely vital."