James Chester demands fight to the finish

Captain James Chester has called on Villa to finish the season as strongly as possible after hailing their new-found resilience.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers
James Chester of Aston Villa

Saturday’s 2-0 win at Wigan was Villa’s fifth in six games and though admitting their performance was not the best, Chester reckons the result was testament to the resolute spirit and winning mentality now running through Steve Bruce’s side.

“The progress is there for all to see,” he said. “Earlier on in the season we might have come out after half-time and lost the game.

“But we are developing a spirit among each other and that helps us through.

“It was a real dogfight and the pitch wasn’t great. We knew it was going to be a tricky afternoon.

“I don’t think we helped ourselves at times but we are building a resoluteness and a bit of spirit and that has seen us to the win.”

Villa were indebted to goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for keeping the scores level against the struggling Latics before Chester them ahead, with his second goal for the club, 17 minutes from time.

Johnstone then brilliantly denied Omar Bogle an equaliser before substitute Scott Hogan made the points safe with his first Villa goal, six minutes from time.

Victory saw resurgent Villa close the gap on the Championship’s top six to 11 points and while it would take something extraordinary for them to make up the remaining ground over the final eight games, Chester is eager they keep their foot on the gas.

“It was important to get out of the bad run we were on and finish the season as strongly as possible,” he said. “We are doing that at the moment and hopefully we can continue it.

“When you win games it is always easier on the confidence side of things. You are going into games believing you will win.

“Going into the games now we know we are going to perform, whether it will be with the ball or digging deep as a group, as we did on Saturday to get the result.

“I think we have an awful lot of quality in the squad and it all seems to be knitting together quite nicely and there seems to be a real spirit forming between everybody.”

Subscribe to our Newsletter