It's not even a year since Aston Villa were being sucked into a Premiership relegation battle, but sights are now being set firmly on Europe.
Villa manager Martin O'Neill might have spent much of this season trying to keep a lid on expectations after his side's unexpectedly good start. But, with almost a third of the campaign now gone and Villa up into fourth place having lost just once in 12 games, the bar is being raised. And O'Neill's first signing Stiliyan Petrov has encapsulated the growing mood of confidence by suggesting that maybe even a Champions League place is not beyond them.
"It would be a great experience for all of us," said Petrov. "Why not?
"So far it has been great. We know it is a long season and that we need to not only maintain this form but get even better if we want to stay there. But the fans would all be so happy if we could get to Europe.
"The manager has been great, as I knew he would be from having worked under him at Celtic. And he gives everyone belief.
"But it is about the players. They wanted to prove last season was a one-off and show they can play. And we now have a more hungry, determined team who all want to work hard for each other and be at the right end of the table."
That belief has been strengthened by their first away Premiership win under O'Neill, Saturday's 1-0 triumph over Everton at Goodison Park — their first three points on the road since the 4-0 win at Middlesbrough more than nine months ago.
And it will have meant even more on a day when the Villa boss was without a clutch of key players — captain Gareth Barry, defenders Martin Laursen and Aaron Hughes and long-term absentee Luke Moore.
The Villa boss covered for Hughes, who has aggravated his early season groin injury, by recalling Liam Ridgewell in the middle of the defence. He also switched stand-in skipper Olof Mellberg, on his 200th Villa appearance, to right back. And Gary Cahill was given his first start of the campaign alongside Ridgewell, recreating their young partnership for the first time since the final game of last season.
With Gabriel Agbonlahor up front and Isaiah Osbourne given another impressive run in the centre of midfield, it gave the team a more youthful look. And that was not lost on one of the old hands on deck, most recent signing Chris Sutton, whose first goal for Villa lifted his new side up to third until being bumped down a place following Arsenal's 3-0 win over Liverpool yesterday.
"There are a lot of good young kids here," said Sutton, the only player in the Villa team with a Premiership winner's medal, "as good a crop as any around.
"Everyone is pulling in the same direction. But the young lads aren't daft. I don't think anyone is getting carried away.
"It is good to get an away win under our belts but the game against Chelsea showed where everyone aspires to be, up with Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea."
It is a philosophy backed up by his manager who, despite yesterday's result in north London and the fact that Villa are four points ahead of them in the table, still rates Liverpool — the only team to beat Villa in the Premiership this season — as one of the teams to tilt their caps at.
But, while feet are remaining firmly on the floor for now, it is hard not to be excited by a look at Villa's fixture list over the next few weeks.
Between now and entertaining Manchester United on December 23, they have home games against Middlesbrough, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers, interspersed with visits to Wigan Athletic, Portsmouth and Sheffield United. All games, by the standards set this season, they could win.