Aston Villa loanee Lewis Grabban impressing Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce claims Lewis Grabban is surpassing expectations after the on loan star continued his scoring streak for Villa.
Grabban’s goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Sunderland means he has now netted in each of his last three appearances.
The 30-year-old’s arrival from Bournemouth on transfer deadline day has provided a welcome boost for Villa and Bruce, who have played the majority of the season without last term’s top scorer Jonathan Kodjia.
Grabban proved his prowess by netting 12 goals for struggling Sunderland during the first half of the campaign.
But Bruce admits he has been even more impressed having now had the chance to watch the striker at close quarters.
“Just at the right time we have a striker who is bang in form,” said Bruce.
“To get 12 goals at Sunderland in 19 appearances, for a team that is bottom of the league, was enough for us to make a move for him.
“If I can say it, he is a better player than I thought he was. That’s always nice for a manager.
“I have always liked him from afar but now I can see he is a very, very good player. He has certainly been a good addition to us.”
Grabban is likely to keep his place in the starting line-up for Saturday’s mouth-watering derby showdown with long-time leaders Wolves.
Bruce has urged his players to enjoy the occasion and what promises to be a vibrant atmosphere at a close to sold-out Villa Park.
“Let's enjoy that challenge because they (Wolves) have been there to be shot at for a long period of time,” he said.
“If we can turn them over then it makes the race even more exciting.
“Cardiff are only three points behind them as we speak, too.
“It's going to be one interesting run in.”