Unai Emery will acknowledge the possibility of qualifying for Europe with Aston Villa if they beat manageress Leicester on Tuesday.
Villa’s form has been transformed since Emery replaced Steven Gerrard in October, with only the top two of Manchester City and Arsenal having won more Premier League matches in that time.
Victory away at Chelsea on Saturday, which transpired to be Graham Potter’s last game in charge of the Blues, moved the visitors above their opponents into ninth in the table, and three more points against the Foxes could see them climb as high as sixth.
That finish would be enough for Villa to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2010, with the manager having won nine of his 14 league games in charge and the team showing no sign of relenting during victory at Stamford Bridge.
“On Tuesday, if we can win, maybe we can speak after the match about Europe,” said Emery. “The possibility is being closer. In my mind is to have always the objective, and one of them is to try and be close and take the option (to get into Europe).
“We are very proud of our work. We are very proud of our supporters. We are very happy. We are not thinking the way we did. The past is very important, the position now we are, we have a lot of wins.
“To get into the top 10 has been very difficult. Now to get in a position for Europe is going to be more difficult. We are going to be demanding, we are going to be ambitious. We are going to be realistic.”
Leicester will be managed at the King Power Stadium by goalkeeping coach Mike Stowell and first-team coach Adam Sadler after Brendan Rodgers was sacked on Sunday.
Rodgers’ last match in charge was a last-gasp 2-1 defeat away at Crystal Palace which saw them drop into the bottom three.
They risk sliding into the Championship for the first time since 2014, with ex-Chelsea boss Potter reportedly having ruled himself out of the running to succeed the Northern Irishman and lead the club’s fight against relegation.
Emery was at pains to acknowledge the threat posed by the struggling Foxes in their bid to beat the drop.
“We have to respect every team, we have to be very consistent,” said Emery, who was speaking on Saturday.
“They’re at the bottom but they have very good players, and we know it. We are going to respect them. We try to be competitive like we are away.
“We want to add offensively more momentum to keep our possession better than (against Chelsea). That’s the key – try to defend like Saturday, try to control the game with the ball more than Saturday.
“They’re in a difficult moment. I know they’re going to play facing us with their power.”