Steve Bruce explains why Aston Villa can still land automatic promotion

Steve Bruce, Manager of Aston Villa looks prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa Park on April 3, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa are seven points off the automatic promotion places heading into their last six Championship fixtures.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Aston Villa reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa Park on April 3, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa bagged an emphatic 3-0 win over Reading on Tuesday night to keep the pressure on second-placed Cardiff City and third-placed Fulham.

The Villans have eleven points between them and seventh-placed Bristol City, and with just six games left before the playoffs, Steve Bruce's side are set to finish in top six.

However, the manager wants much more and is aiming to lead his team to the English Premier League through automatic qualification.

Aston Villa will have to beat Cardiff City to the 2nd spot for that to happen, and Bruce claims it's a possibility.

"We have to win on Saturday but the top two play each other," Bruce told the Express and Star following Tuesday's victory when asked about Aston Villa's automatic promotion chances.

Conor Hourihane of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa Park on April 3, 2018 in...

"There are still going to be many twists and turns. Fulham are there or thereabouts and the way they are performing, you have to say, is quite remarkable.

"But we're still there. With six games to go, we have a chance."

Aston Villa visit Norwich on Saturday, and after returning to winning ways following a three-game barren run, the players will be raring to go against their mid-table hosts.

Cardiff host Wolves on Friday before visiting Villa Park on Tuesday, and losing both games will see their lead on Aston Villa cut to one point, provided the hosts get a win against Norwich.

Scott Hogan of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring his sides third goal with Joshua Onomah of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa...

With four strong teams set to contest for the playoffs, Villa's chances of sealing promotion via that route aren't great, and understandably, Bruce will prefer if his team can go up without the hassle and tough demands of the playoff.

Should Aston Villa win every of their remaining six games, though, automatic promotion is within reach.

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