Martin O'Neill believes Aston Villa will be able to look back at a "decent season" in the summer even if they miss out on a European place.
Villa have their eyes on a Champions League spot following a 2-1 victory at Reading that was far more comprehensive than the scoreline suggests.
Twelve years have passed since Villa finished as high as fourth, but should they end up missing out on even the UEFA Cup, O'Neill insisted it would still be a season to cherish.
He said: "We are in contention and there are four or five sides who are separated by virtually nothing.
"My own view on the possibility of a Champions League spot is that we might not even qualify for Europe, but that wouldn't stop it being a decent season for us.