By Graham Hill
VILLA boss Dean Smith admits there is a ‘spring in the step’ after Saturday’s commanding win over play-off rivals Middlesbrough.
The victory put Villa back into the top six just a month after languishing in mid-table with all thoughts of promotion looking to be gone.
Goals from Anwar El-Ghazi, John McGinn and a late third from ex-Boro winger Albert Adomah gave Villa their fourth win in a row.
It means Villa can now consider themselves genuine play-off contenders.
Their next game is on March 30 at home to Blackburn and that presents Villa with the chance to make it five wins in a row.
The international break also gives them the chance to get injured players fit again.
But Smith says it is important to remain grounded.
Smith told BBC Radio WM: “It was a really good, positive performance against a good team with good players.
“They were very difficult to break down in the first 15 minutes and were a threat on the counter, but we finally got our rewards.
“We kept pushing and my only gripe is that we didn’t score more because I thought we were really good.”
Smith admitted that Villa’s league position is encouraging.
He added: ”It puts a spring in the step but we know there are teams with games in hand over us.
“We have just got to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s nice to go into the international break with four wins on the spin.”