By Graham Hill
WEST Brom skipper Chris Brunt says Aston Villa do not have a ‘God-given’ route back to the Premier League.
The two West Midlands rivals clash in the Play-off semi-finals – with the first leg at Villa Park this Saturday.
But even though Villa are favourites to return to the top flight after a three-year gap, Brunt says Albion will not be clearing a path for Dean Smith’s side.
Villa played in last year’s Championship final but lost to Fulham and they are desperate not to fail again.
Brunt said: “It’s not their God-given right to get to Wembley.
“They were there last year but it doesn’t mean they’re going to get there again.
“It’s down to us to make sure they don’t.
“Their form going into the play-offs has been great, you can’t get away from that.
“I don’t think for any one moment they think they’re already in the final because they’re going to have two tough games against us.”
Brunt admits he has having to keep a low profile on the school run at the moment – as most of his neighbours are Villa fans.
He added: “I live in Sutton Coldfield, there’s a lot of Villa fans there, I’ll be keeping my head down this week.
“I know people on the school run who’re big Villa fans, you don’t see many West Brom supporters in that area.
“You’d definitely rather be one of the two teams already promoted. Fair play to Norwich and Sheffield United they were the two best teams and they deserve to be promoted. Hopefully we can be best of the rest.”