Aston Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen believes he can finally realise his ambition of clinching European football next season.
The Denmark international twice narrowly missed out on that goal with Sunderland and it was a similar scenario in his first season at Villa under David O’Leary.
But, despite Villa’s struggles during the second half of this season. Sorensen is convinced that dream can be achieved under Martin O’Neill and he does not believe major surgery is needed on the team during the summer.
He said: "The manager has got his ideas but I don’t see it being a case of where we need 10 new players.
"The idea is to improve and get real quality players in and that’s what the manager is looking for as well. The base is good. We have got a lot of good players so maybe he will be adding here and there that bit of extra quality - as he has done already - so we can get to where we want to get to.
"It would be great to push for Europe. I missed out a couple of times with Sunderland. It is not going to happen this year but hopefully next year.
"I’ve had a taste of it with international football and it’s fantastic to travel around and play different countries and hopefully soon different clubs as well. It adds a bit extra for the club and the fans. You see Manchester United in Europe and you need to look and say ’that’s where we want to be’.
"It will take a long time to be as good as Manchester United because there is a step up there to that level but that’s what you should aspire to achieve, to be the best.
"Every player in his position should aim to be the best.
"We nearly got into Europe in my first season here when we missed out on goal difference. In fact, it was close the first couple of years. We were in with a shout until the last two or three weeks in the second season. We’ve had a bit of struggle the last two years but, with the changes and if you give the manager a year or so, I think we will get where we want to get to."
Sorensen has been in fine form this season but would still welcome competition for places throughout the squad as he prepares for Saturday’s clash at Middlesbrough.
He said: "Any club needs competition in any position. No one is safe and that goes for ‘keepers, strikers etc. At the top clubs, if you are not in form, there is someone else there to take your place and, if we want to be a top club, that’s the situation we need to have.
"We are getting there because we have a good squad with a lot of players pushing for places in the team."