Nigel de Jong believes Manchester City are now 'real contenders' for a place in the UEFA Champions League, but admits anything can happen.
The midfielder was a part of the team that hammered a ragged Sunderland 5-0 at Eastlands on Sunday to overtake Chelsea in third place in the Premier League.
City are now sitting pretty in the top four and have a six-point advantage over fifth-placed Tottenham, albeit having played an additional match.
De Jong told Sky Sports 1: "Our main goal at the start of the season was to qualify for the Champions League and that's still our main target, so it was a helpful three points today.
"There are still seven games to go and anything can happen but this is a great confidence boost for our team - we are real contenders for the Champions League places."
Joleon Lescott acknowledged the quality of City's performance after their drubbing of Steve Bruce's out-of-form Sunderland.
Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure got the goals as Roberto Mancini's men romped to victory.
England international Lescott said: "We dominated from start to finish.
"You can't ask for that level of performance every week. It's nice to get results and today we got the result as well as the performance."