Leicester captain Wes Morgan would not admit it publicly but his club’s ambition now stretches beyond a top-four finish.
The 3-2 win at Everton ensured they will be top at Christmas – a situation from which five of the last six teams in the same position have gone on to become champions – exactly 12 months after they were rock-bottom and in danger of being relegated.
Despite their sustained spell at the top most observers expect the Foxes’ form to tail off in the new year and believe the best they can hope for is a Champions League place.
But when Morgan was asked whether he would take a fourth-place finish now he said: “I wouldn’t answer that.
“Obviously fourth is a very good position and no one coming into the season thought we would be there.
“At the moment we are just delighted where we are and want to keep that run going.
“We still don’t want to get carried away, especially with us only being Leicester!
“We will let you guys (the media) speculate, we will just try to stay grounded and who knows how far we can go.
“There is a lot of speculation and talk of how far we can go, where can we finish, can we win the league, and stuff.
“We listen to it all but don’t get carried away. We will just carry on playing, carry on winning and see how far we can go.”
If the players are not getting carried away – manager Claudio Ranieri will not entertain talk of a title bid until April – then Leicester’s fans certainly are.
Immediately after an ironic chant of ‘We’re staying up’ went out at Goodison Park (Leicester now have 38 points) it was followed by one of ‘We’re going to win the league’.
No one can argue with the role the supporters have played in backing their team and Morgan accepts they can ride that wave of optimism.
Next up is a visit to Anfield and the centre-back insists that holds no fear for them.
“We get confidence from our performances,” he added.
“We are in high spirits, because we have played most teams now, and know how good we are and we want to keep it going and prove how good we are to everyone.
“We weren’t dreading them a year ago because we played well, we just weren’t getting the rub of the green.
“Some mistakes cost us games. This season we have eradicated them and the results picked up.
“We just want to stay solid and perform again and try and get the win.”
Team spirit and attitude has been a big factor for Leicester this season and that was epitomised by Morgan who played at Goodison despite a stomach upset on the eve of the game.
“I had a bad stomach the night before but I didn’t even tell the gaffer, I told the physio, took some Immodium tablets and rolled myself out there,” he said.
“There’s a point where you think you might be too ill to play and might not be able to help the team but I don’t think I was at that point. Every player wants to play every week.”
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, the Premier League’s two highest scorers with 15 and 13 goals apiece, have grabbed the headlines but that does not do justice to the work done by the likes of Morgan, midfielder Ngolo Kante and Robert Huth and Danny Drinkwater (suspended and injured respectively for the Everton game).
Morgan insists they are happy for the flair players to steal the limelight.
“A lot of players have probably gone under the radar this year – maybe rightly because Riyad and Vards have got the goals – but we are doing our jobs quietly – and we don’t mind not getting the limelight because they’re scoring the goals and winning us the games.
“Someone’s got to get it and strikers usually do.”