Former England international John Terry is anticipating a huge month ahead of Aston Villa following their good start to the Championship season.

The Villains were initially lingering just above the drop zone, but a strong month of September sees them just a point behind the playoff positions. Steve Bruce's side were hindered by injuries during the early part of the campaign, and they got their act together last month as they secured 14 points from a possible 18 available.

Villa will take on the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City in the coming weeks, and skipper Terry is pumped up with the prospect of playing their west Midlands' rivals. The veteran centre-back reckons that the Villains have set the standard with an impressive showing last month, and they must continue this form when the Championship return in 12 days' time.

He said: "It’s a huge game because Wolves are flying as well - it’s always a tough place to go. We’ve got Birmingham a few weeks later as well, so we need to keep performing, fighting for each other and our places. We’ve got to keep this momentum going as long as possible. It’s been much better and we’re closer to where we want to be. We’re climbing the table, keeping clean sheets and winning football matches. It’s given everybody a lift around the training camp, as well as Villa Park - the fans can feel that."

A lot of questions were raised when Terry opted to join the Villains in the summer, but the 36-year-old proved his credentials last month with five clean sheets in six league games. As a result, Bruce's men are just five points behind league leaders Cardiff City, and their current form suggests that they will be right in the promotion mix come the end of the campaign. Aston Villa are currently the third favourites to secure top-flight promotion, according to the bookies, only behind Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City.