Gareth Barry believes the Blues are outsiders but contenders in the race for the Premier League title.
But the England midfielder refuses to get carried away by the current second place or all the talk of being number one at the end of the season.
Barry played a pivotal role in the 3-1 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon scoring the opening goal and then working hard to subdue the Magpies spirited reply.
“I think in some games this year we have played great football,” he declared.
“We are second as we stand now and we would have settled for that at this stage before a ball had been kicked.
“The performance of the team has improved too and if that continues then we are a threat. I don’t know if we have enough to be title contenders this season but we can give it a good go.
“We spoke about how important it was to bounce back from the Everton result at Newcastle and that’s what we did.
“We were delighted to have taken the three points at a ground where Chelsea and Liverpool both dropped points.
“We have to take one game at a time but the way we have played especially in patches we know we have the capabilities of being up there.”
The next challenge for Barry and teammates is to overcome some less than convincing recent home from in back-to-back games with Villa and Blackpool.
“For now though all we have to do is to concentrate on the challenge that Villa pose on Tuesday afternoon,” he concluded. “It is not long to recover and they will not be happy that they lost at home to Spurs.
“It will be a tough game. We have found it hard at home because teams have come and sat deep and made it tough for us. We know too that Villa have a lot of pace on the counter. We have to be wary of that but we will be looking for three points.”