By Dominic Toner

Steve Bruce has explained that Aston Villa have become more aggressive in their style and are letting their quality do the rest as they pursue a promotion push.

The 55-year-old became the Villa manager in October and has enjoyed a good start with the Midlands club.

Roberto Di Matteo was sacked following a 2-0 defeat against Preston and left the club in 19th in the Championship, just two points above the relegation zone.

Experienced manager Bruce has taken charge of five games since and has seen Villa climb to 14th in the table.

They have recorded wins against Reading, Fulham and Blackburn, as well as earning draws against Wolves and bitter rivals Birmingham.

Bruce has explained that his side are beginning to compete with the more physical sides in the league.

“You must have a bit of ‘up and at them’ because everyone else is like that – and then you let your talent do the rest,” Bruce said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.

Villa were relegated from the Premier League last season and were expected to challenge launch a serious challenge at a top-flight return.

The Midlands club recruited heavily in the summer with James Chester, Mile Jedinak and Tommy Elphick dropping down from the Premier League.

Forward pairing Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia also moved to Villa Park and cost a combined £27million.

Bruce has inherited a quality squad and will be targeting a push for the play-offs at least, which they are currently five points adrift of.

In other Aston Villa news, Ian Taylor has described the one word effect of the international break on the club.