Danny Livesey believes Chester are reaping the rewards of a more aggressive tactical approach this season.

The 34-year-old centre back has been key to the Blues' fine early form, combining impressively with Simon Grand in the heart of the defence.

But, with a quarter of the season now played, Livesey insists that Chester's solid start to the campaign has been a collective effort.

"As a team we're pressing higher this season", he said.

"We've got that aggressive pressing of the ball higher up the field and it's made a massive difference for us.

"At times last season our defence took a lot of stick, particularly in the heavy defeats we had.But for a lot of last year it felt like it was only our back four who were doing most of winning the ball back.

"Now we've got our midfielders and forwards like Matty Hughes putting the the pressure on from the front.

"Everyone takes responsibility for that side of things now and there's a massive workrate from the players in front of us.

"That's made our jobs much easier as defenders and we've said this season that any clean sheets we get are a team effort and not just down to the back four."

Grand's long-standing connection with Grand spans almost 20 years, with the duo having played for the same club five times during their respective careers.

Well-known to Blues managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley from their time at Salford City, the experienced central duo have helped Chester maintian one of the best defensive records in the division after 10 games.

Johnson recently described the pair as the best central defensive partnership in non-league football, with Livesey heartened to be referenced in such glowing terms.

"It's great that the manager's come out and said that", he added.

"I've known Si since we were 17 or 18. He's a great professional and I feel like we combine really well.

"We know each other's game inside out - I like to be dominant in the air and he's very confident when he's clearing up behind - there's a great understanding there.

"It feels like we started out on this journey into football together and we're ending it together.

"We've both won individual honours over the course of our careers and he's won five league titles and it'd be great to win something together this season."

The shrewd additions of full-backs Kev Roberts and Joel Taylor have bolstered the Blues' prospects greatly this term.

In addition to their defensive duties, both have showed their attacking qualities in advanced positions down the flanks.

Livesey added: "The way Joel gets up and down that line after Anthony Dudley's dropped inside helps us massively, and Kev going forward frees up space for Brad Jackson to get further forward.

"That wasn't happening last season and I think Kev and Joel have been fantastic so far.

"All credit to the managers because they've identified the areas they wanted to strengthen and have made some really good additions.

"When you compare it to last year when I think there were 14 players brought into the club, it was a really experimental season.

"But the managers have continued to strengthen this year and I think the squad is developing and getting better all the time."

Despite his seniority in the Blues squad, Livesey is rarely one of the more vocal members inside the Blues dressing room.

Instead he prefers to impart any advice directly to his team-mates and offer guidance where he can.

He said: "I like to have a few odd rants, but generally I get laughed at if I start shouting!

"I prefer to offer advice one-on-one, particularly with the younger players.

"I think that's the great thing about this group is that everybody believes they can still learn and are willing to take advice.

"You've only got to see the way Si helps Joel out during games - telling him where he needs to be and which position he should be taking up.

"Having that experience beside him takes a lot of the pressure off a younger player and allows him to focus on other areas of his game."