Unai Emery stressed the importance of Aston Villa remaining consistent as the season goes on after the 3-1 win over Fulham.
The result at Villa Park saw the midlands outfit make it six wins out of six at home in the Premier League this season and equal the post-war club record for successive top-flight home victories, matching the 13 in a row achieved in 1983.
Boss Emery, whose fifth-placed side are a point outside the top four, said: “We are now (on league match) 12 – there are still 26 matches to play.
“It’s a lot and of course to be consistent is the most important thing, when you are trying to build and to create a team and a structure and mentality.
“It’s the reason of course we can maintain the position like we are now, but it’s going to be very difficult and a challenge. We are going to face each match trying to focus (on) it.
“Now we are in the top five, it’s I think a moment to enjoy, to be happy – and to try to analyse, even now winning, how we can improve, how we can keep being consistent.”
Marking a return to winning ways in the league after last Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Nottingham Forest, this result was a second home triumph in four days for Villa, with Emery’s men having defeated AZ Alkmaar 2-1 in the Europa Conference League on Thursday to leave them on the brink of qualifying from their group.
They were two up at the break against Fulham following an Antonee Robinson own-goal and a 42nd-minute strike from skipper John McGinn, while Ollie Watkins subsequently added a third in the 64th minute for his 11th goal of the season in all competitions.
Raul Jimenez, who had seen a shot tipped against a post by Emiliano Martinez early in the second half, pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 70th minute – the former Wolves man’s first Premier League goal since March 2022.
Emery said: “At home, we are feeling very good here. We are connected with our supporters, trying to (have) full, positive energy, and… in each circumstance we are trying to adapt, improving the team, the players, our tactical work. I think it is going well.
“Here, for example, I think the first half was a very good first half. We created chances, but overall we controlled the game, avoiding the transition. It was fantastic.
“The second half was more hard. They scored one goal, had chances and were trying to work, thinking about the possibility to come back, and we avoided it.”
Villa resume after the international break with away games against Tottenham and Bournemouth, either side of a Europa Conference League home match against Legia Warsaw, and then host Manchester City and Arsenal in the league.
Emery added: “Of course I am happy and I can take my days off as well relaxing with the result we had, with the moment we are now in the table, and in the Conference (League) as well.
“But I know full well each match is a new challenge, and I am going to take some days resting, but of course my mind is in Tottenham, and in Bournemouth, and in Legia Warsaw, and in Villa Park again with Manchester City and Arsenal.”
Fulham, who are 16th, slipped to a third loss in four games, and boss Marco Silva said: “It was a frustrating afternoon for us. Villa deserved the three points.
“A football match is much more than just playing first half or second half, it is to be consistent from the first minute. It is a frustration for us the way we conceded the goals this afternoon.
“To be honest what frustrated me more in the first half was the way we played on the ball. The first half was poor on the ball. Then commanding the game (in the second half) we cannot give away another goal like we did.”