Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan today insisted Premier League survival should not be the only thing his team-mates strive for as he eyed a mid-table finish.
The claret and blues climbed out of the relegation zone after a morale-boosting 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Bottom side Queens Park Rangers are the visitors to Villa Park in another crunch match on Saturday, but an optimistic Guzan has set his sights a little higher.
He said: “There’s nine games left, 27 points, you win all games, who says you can’t do that? You have to be like that.
“What’s to say you can’t win nine games? We have tough games along the way for sure, but in saying that if we continue to stick and fight we never know what’s going to happen.
“We played Manchester United at our place, we ended up dropping points, but at the same time it was a performance that we should have been proud of, and we should have seen that out.
“Yes we have to go to Old Trafford, and yes we have to play Chelsea, but these are games that you want to be a part of.
“There’s a lot of football. Obviously we want to get three points against QPR at the weekend. That’s the task in hand. It’s not the be-all and end-all game.
“There’s still eight games after that and 24 points available. We have to continue to fight, go again. It’s a big game; all games are big from here on now. We have to go again.”
American international Guzan, 28, also backed Villa defender Nathan Baker to quickly put the embarrassment of his own-goal blooper against Reading behind him.
Guzan said: “He’s the type of kid that puts in a shift. Nathan puts his body on the line. The luck seemed to not be going our way but that helped bring that fight and that spirit and determination that we showed afterwards.
“To come back from a goal down on the road at a place like Reading where we know is a massive, massive game, shows what we are all about.
“Individually, it’s a mistake but you pick each other up, help each other and go again. He knows how big of a contribution he brings out ream. I thought he was fantastic."