Cesc Fabregas wants AS Monaco to be playing European football next season after helping his side to a 4-0 win over FC Metz, but coach Niko Kovac is refusing to get ahead of himself.
Monaco pulled up to third in the standings - which would secure a place in next season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round - after Fabregas, Kevin Volland and Wissam Ben Yedder fired them to a comprehensive victory at the Stade Louis II on Saturday.
The principality outfit were only ninth last term when the league was cut short early on in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but Fabregas, a Champions League runner-up with Arsenal in 206, is keen to return to the top table of continental football in 2021-22.
"The club's objective is to be in Europe next season," he said. "We'll see where we are in the standings in the final sprint to see if we can aim higher. We'll continue to work hard in the league, but also in the cup, because this competition's very important for us. We must do everything to win every match. We're Monaco, we must win.
Monaco are only four points behind league leaders LOSC, who beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 later on Saturday, but coach Kovac doesn't share his on-field lieutenant's confidence, at least not explicitly.
"We can't talk about the title or the Champions League yet!" he explained when the question was put to him. "There are 21 points left to play for and that's still a lot. We have to secure fourth place. We deserved the win. We had a lot of chances. We conceded only one shot in the match, with a big save from Benjamin [Lecomte]. It was a fantastic stop. This gives him even more confidence and also makes the defenders more confident.
"We're on a good path. After a two-week break, we're off to a good start. But we know that can change very quickly. There's no reason to believe that it'll be easy on Tuesday against Metz [in the Coupe de France]."