Manager Martin O'Neill admits that Aston Villa again face a major challenge to try and break into the top four in the Premier League and secure a Champions League spot for next season.
Villa finished in sixth place last term and are currently fifth in the standings ahead of a clash with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
O'Neill told the Daily Mirror:"It will be a tough ask this season again, but it's our aim.
"That's what we want to do as we'd love to be playing Champions League football eventually.
"I am hoping we can hang in and get a few results so supporters stay with us, thinking something may happen. We love a challenge and we get excited by it all.
"But the fact is the top four have been the top four because they have been the four best sides through the course of the season.
"Teams can have little runs at it, but Everton are the only team to have broken it in the last six years.
"I just think from our point of view, consistency over a lengthy period of the season is vital. We had an experience of it last season, we were going along nicely until February time.
"We had a number of points on the board and perhaps if we had a bigger squad we may have been able to cope a bit better."