Albion's 12 clean sheets are as many as the club have picked up since six shut-outs in the final 12 games of 1983/84 after Johnny Giles returned as manager took their tally to 12.
"From the moment he came in, this gaffer demanded hard work as the bare minimum," McAuley said.
"I think the clean sheets we have picked up since then were a key element - no matter how badly we were playing in games, if we didn't concede goals we were in with a chance.
"We had conceded a lot of goals from set plays and they are a massive part of the game these days.
"I think a bit of height is an advantage in coping with that threat."