Steve Bruce: Aston Villa boss says only 'almighty collapse' will deny Wolves

Aston Villa's John Terry and Robert Snodgrass celebrates Saturday's win over Wolves
Aston Villa are four points behind second-placed Cardiff and seven behind Championship leaders Wolves

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce says it would take "an almighty collapse" to stop Wolves winning promotion, despite Villa inflicting the leaders' biggest Championship defeat of the season.

Saturday's 4-1 home victory kept Villa third, seven points behind Wolves.

"Our duty is to try to chase," Bruce told BBC Sport. "Cardiff are making a hell of a run, Fulham are on a run and we're having a go too.

"Wolves are there to be shot at and there's all to play for."

Bruce added: "With the standards they've set, it would take an almighty collapse from them, but this is the Championship and nothing surprises me about how difficult it is."

Next up

The top three - Wolves, Cardiff and Villa - all have an extra game to fit in on Tuesday after their matches scheduled for 3 March were postponed because of bad weather.

Wolves have two home games against struggling teams before the international break, while Cardiff, Villa and fourth-placed Fulham are all involved in live televised fixtures during the weekend of 17-18 March.

Tuesday

  • Aston Villa v QPR (19:45 GMT)
  • Brentford v Cardiff (19:45)
  • Wolves v Reading (19:45)

Saturday

  • Fulham v QPR (12:30)
  • Wolves v Burton (15:00)
  • Bolton v Aston Villa (17:30)

Sunday

  • Derby v Cardiff (12.00)

Villa have 'experience' in promotion race

Bruce has a good record for keeping a cool head in the closing stages of the season, as shown by his record four promotions to the Premier League - two of them with Birmingham and the other two with Hull.

"We've still got 10 games to go and all we've done is give ourselves a chance," he said. "That is all I asked for the moment I walked through the door."

Second-half goals from James Chester, Lewis Grabban and Birkir Bjarnason secured a handsome win for Bruce's side, who have won 10 of their past 12 league matches.

"Wolves have players who were playing in the Champions League last season and to now being in the Championship is a big call," added the 57-year-old.

"Some have said it's the best team there's ever been in the Championship, so for us to win so handsomely was terrific from our boys. We've taken them on and beaten them.

"We've now got a big game on Tuesday against QPR that will be arguably bigger than this one. We're under no illusion about that, but we've got players with fantastic experience and knowhow.

"We're a threat going forward and they all put in a shift. Jack Grealish coming back in has helped us and Lewis has given us another dimension. It was classic centre forward play, the way he got in at the near post for our third goal, and we look so strong defensively.

"Added to that, we had an unbelievable crowd behind us. It's not been like that here for a few years."