After his winner against West Ham, Craig Gardner declared Aston Villa were worthy European contenders.

Gardner, who had also scored in the 4-4 draw at Tottenham, said: "It was great to go fifth even if it might only have been for a few hours before teams played on Sunday.

"Can we stay up there? Definitely, why not go to fourth place? What is stopping us? The confidence is high, we are playing well, there is pace in abundance in the team so what is stopping us?

"I wouldn't say we are going to surprise anyone now. I think people expect us to do well with the players we've got and the manager we've got. I don't think people are surprised.

"It is no longer a shock if Villa beat a good side. We beat Chelsea, we drew at Tottenham and beat West Ham.

"We've got Manchester United next. Why can't we get a positive result out of Manchester United? We beat Chelsea. Let's go out there and do it."