Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is urging his team-mates to continue with the spirit they showed in their impressive 4-1 fight-back against Newcastle United as they strive for European football next season.
And although manager Martin O'Neill revealed last night that Villa will be applying to enter the InterToto Cup this summer, both Reo-Coker and O'Neill insist that is merely a contingency plan. It does not mean the team believes it will not qualify for Europe through the automatic qualification places.
Reo-Coker said: "It is vital we remain within touching distance of the two top teams and if we do that then Europe is very much a possibility.
"Provided we are no more than six to nine points off second place in the Premier League then we should not have any worries and it will mean we are having a really great season.
"The onus is on us, however, to push ourselves all the way. The possibility of qualifying for the Uefa Cup and the Champions League is there to be achieved.
"If we can continue with this good run then we will put ourselves in a good position to achieve this kind of objective."
Villa's decision to pursue the InterToto Cup route into Europe should the wheels come off their current bid to secure qualification through either the Champions League or the Uefa Cup was made by O'Neill yesterday.
The Northern Irishman - just back from the club's mid-winter training camp in Spain - insisted Villa were simply "covering all the bases" and said the decision in no way indicated he or his players were ready to give up on automatic European qualification.
And O'Neill vowed Villa would head into the final 12 games of the season 'with all guns blazing', aiming to secure at the very least a top-six spot and he is not ruling out the Champions League.
He is only too aware that with Liverpool out of sorts the fourth place which in the past has seemed the preserve of the Big Four appears - this season at least - to be up for grabs.
O'Neill said: "It's just covering bases but we've got a chance and we're going to try and charge on if we can. We've got ourselves into a position where we've got a 12-game season and we'll be going into it all guns blazing. The boys have been magnificent during the first two thirds of the season.
"We had a superb finish to last season, being unbeaten in the last nine games, and it would be nice if something similar happened again.
"Entering the InterToto is in no way a signal that we've given up hope of qualifying for Europe automatically, nothing could be further from the truth, but as I say we're covering all bases.
"The way the season pans out is that we would normally come back in early July anyway, getting ourselves prepared for games on the 19th and 26th of July, so it's worth looking at.
"I know it's a commitment you can't get yourself out of, but we've considered everything and this is what we're doing."
The Villa manager continued: "Considering you only play two games at the end of July - which would correspond with us coming back for pre-season anyway - it's something for us to keep in the back of our minds as we press forward. Why not have it as an option?
"We didn't apply last season because when they were talking about it we had a lot of ground to make up. We're still making up that ground, but we're a bit better equipped this time around."
The competition format has changed since Villa last entered the InterToto back in 2002.
Next season skipper Gareth Barry's men would need to negotiate just one round to reach the second qualifying round of the Uefa Cup, which would mean a less congested summer fixture programme.
If Villa do qualify for the InterToto, they would play one two-legged tie over the weekends of July 19 and 20 and July 26 and 27.
Villa have entered the InterToto on three previous occasions and won the competition in 2001.