Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has challenged Championship leaders Wolves to continue their impressive form over the crucial winter period.

Nuno Espírito Santo’s side have set the pace at the top of the Championship table and are four points clear, after taking 13 wins from their opening 18 matches.

Wovles are nine points ahead of fourth-placed Villa ahead of this weekend’s action. The league leaders comfortably dispatched Bruce’s side 2-0 at Molineux last month.

The two clubs are not set to do battle again until March and Bruce will be hoping that by the time that game comes around, Villa will have significantly reduced the points gap.

The Villa boss admitted that Wolves will take some stopping but says he is not too concerned by their good form and has challenged them to keep it going over the “crucial” winter period.

“In the Championship, it can all change within a week,” Bruce said at his press conference earlier today, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail.

“I’m not too concerned about Wolves. They’re doing very well but we want to focus on ourselves.

“They’re the ones to catch, no doubt about it. But we’re only a third of the way through the season.

“It’s a long winter. And the crucial part is the winter. December is a big month and January is important, too.”

Bruce went on to say that his Villa side have shown that they can pick up results when they are not playing well and that will be important for this season’s promotion race.

Both sides are in Championship action this weekend with the leaders hosting Bolton Wanderers at Molineux and Bruce’s side welcoming Ipswich Town to Villa Park.

In other Aston Villa news, this highly-rated attacker has made a bold statement about his future at the club.

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