Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce delighted with "big win" against Sheffield Wednesday

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce delighted with "big win" against Sheffield Wednesday

Steve Bruce was left delighted with his side's 4-2 win on Saturday afternoon at Hillsborough.

Sam Straw

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce was left delighted with his side's performance in the 4-2 win against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon at Hillsborough

Bruce's side had gone into half-time 2-1 behind due to goals from Sean Clarke and Lucas João for the hosts, either side of a Lewis Grabban equaliser for Villa. The away side did not reach their usual high standards during the first-half and Jos Luhukay's side were able to capitalise. 

However, Villa were much-improved in the second-half and deservedly went on to secure all three points. Glenn Whelan equalised midway through the second-half before late strikes from Conor Hourihane and Robert Snodgrass sealed the victory, much to the delight of Villa's large travelling support. 

Bruce felt his side thoroughly deserved all three points. He said: "I thought it was a very good game. I thought we were very open in the first-half which we addressed better in the second-half. Overall, to come to Hillsborough and score four goals, you deserve to win. They responded in a great way (in the second-half)."

He added: "It is something we wanted to instil (fighting character). We have a group of players who are now on the same hymn sheet as the supporters. I believe they (the fans) are enjoying watching the team now. They have produced a really good performance second-half."

Snodgrass continues to impress for Villa

Many people were surprised in the build-up to kick-off that Bruce decided to include Snodgrass in his starting line-up considering the fact that he has recently been battling with illness. However, the 30-year-old winger, on loan from Premier League side West Ham United, impressed throughout and had a key role to play in Villa's comeback. 

Bruce praised the winger for the impact he has made this season. He said: "He is clever and is a dribbler. He draws a foul. I think they get frustrated because I think they would like him on their team. He has a trick in him. I do not know what they are complaining about (for the penalty). He has been invaluable to us."

Due to recent injuries picked up by Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish, Bruce opted to change formation to 4-4-2 for this game and he felt his side dealt with the change well after some initial confusion in the first-half. 

He said: "It has been a difficult week due to injuries and what we have dealt with. We have dealt with them and I hope we do not get anymore."

He added: "It is vitally important if you are going to be successful (scoring goals). You need to be a threat. I am pleased that it worked. We managed to get through it and in the second-half we were much better."

Can Villa achieve automatic promotion?

This result moved Villa to within one point of Cardiff City who currently occupy the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship. There is no doubt that it was a very significant win for Bruce's side and he has been left delighted with how consistent they have been in recent weeks. 

He said: "It is a big win. We will have tomorrow off and then get ready for QPR and Sunderland. We have another three games in a week. There were some more strange results today. We have done very well of late, consistency wise. Lets hope we can do the same in the run-in, then we will take some catching."

Bruce was also left feeling pleased for 34-year-old midfielder Whelan who scored his first goal since 2011 against his former club and appeared to play it down in his celebration. 

Bruce said: "He has not scored since 2011, he has probably forgotten what to do. You do not get many smiles or celebrations out of Glenn. He does not smile very often."

Villa will now begin their preparations for next weekend's game as they welcome Ian Holloway's QPR side to Villa Park. It is another great opportunity for Bruce's side to pick up three points considering QPR's recent run of form, most recently losing 5-2 to Nottingham Forest at Loftus Road.