Executive director Les Reed now wants Southampton to build on their excellent season and feels they could be playing in the Champions League in the coming years.
The Saints have been the surprise package of the campaign and spent several weeks in the top four before the usual suspects found their form and rose to the top.
But they are still in with a decent shout of playing in the Europa League next term and sit in seventh place in the top-flight standings with 57 points from 34 games played.
That total represents their best-ever return in the Premier League and is testament to the way that boss Ronaldo Koeman first recruited well before moulding his charges into an effective unit.
The loss of manager Mauricio Pochettino and several top-class stars last summer did not seem to faze anyone at the club and they have looked right at home near the top of the table all season with the joint-best defensive record in the division.
The challenge now for the south-coast club is to repeat the dose in the coming years and Reed sees no reason why they should not go on to achieve their aim of a place in Europe’s elite club competition within five years.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t make Europe this season,” said the former Charlton Athletic boss.
“But we have set our own standards now and we are confident over the course of the coming years we will play in Europe and we are confident we are right to have an aspiration to play in the Champions League.”