Glenn Whelan reckons Villa will go to Wolves without any fear this weekend as they look to extend their winning run and close the gap on the Championship’s top-two.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder has enjoyed a welcomed break from domestic action as he helped his nation to within just two games of World Cup qualification this week.
A play-off place for the Irish means that Whelan is still heavily focused on results for both club and country but it’s the trip to Molineux that is now firmly on his mind.
“Obviously Wolves are doing well at the minute but every game for us is a big one for us,” he said.
“It’s always onto the next one.
“The way we are playing and the results we are getting, not many teams will want to play against us.”
Villa are unbeaten in eight and have won the last four on the spin.
They’ve conceded just one goal since the transfer window closed, have won back-to-back away games and are just five points off top place.
So is it all starting to take shape?
“It has taken us a while to get together because of new players coming in but we are starting to show what we are all about,” Whelan added.
“It is early in the season and we need to keep that up.
“The two lads up top give us a target to aim for and are a handful. Then we are keeping clean sheets as well.
“It is about everyone knowing their jobs and their role.
“I think we are getting there now.”
This is Whelan’s first taste of Championship football for almost a decade after nine seasons with former club Stoke City in the Premier League.
But he admits not much has changed.
“I am getting there now,” he said.
“The first few games were difficult because I did not have the games I wanted.
“The Championship is different, its relentless, non-stop but I am finding my feet.
“I was only a young boy when I was here last time with Sheffield Wednesday (and Stoke for half a season).
“But myself and JT have the experience to push on. We will help all the younger lads thrive.”
Villa are still without Andre Green (hamstring) and Jack Grealish (kidney) but are hopeful Mile Jedinak (groin) will be available.
Young striker Keinan Davis will be assessed after going away with England under-20s, although he didn’t feature on international duty.
Taylor will serve the first of a three-game ban following his red card against Bolton Wanderers.
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How will Villa line up?
Taylor’s absence will force Bruce into changing his preferred starting XI – but we anticipate that being the only change with the manager not keen to upset the applecart.
The Welshman doesn’t have a natural deputy following Jordan Amavi’s summer move to Marseille, meaning one of Alan Hutton or Ritchie De Laet is likely to plug the gap.
Given De Laet’s extra experience at left-back, he would appear to be the front runner but Bruce has previously hesitated at throwing the Belgian into the mix following a lengthy injury lay-off.
Source : BirminghamMail