Goalscoring debutant Emile Heskey insists "sooner or later" someone will break up the Premier League's 'big four' - and sees no reason why it should not be Aston Villa.
Heskey's 20th minute winner at Portsmouth added weight to Villa's unlikely title ambitions with even manager Martin O'Neill quipping: "I'll think we'll win it now!"
New signing Heskey delivered the goods on his debut with a first-half goal he both created and finished in partnership with Gabriel Agbonlahor and said: "It's nice to score on your debut because it can be difficult settling into a new club."
Villa have been piling up the points despite not always impressing and there was no doubt they had the rub of the green against luckless Pompey, who slipped deeper into the relegation zone just four days after losing their grip on the FA Cup thanks to a fourth round home defeat by Swansea.
Heskey added: "But I've had some great times with some great clubs including with Martin at Leicester and I'm sure it's going to be the same here at Villa. Sooner or later someone is going to break up the (established) big four and hopefully it will be Villa."
O'Neill was in jovial mood after Villa set a new club record for away wins in the Premier League and climbed to third in the table.
Although the Villa manager continues to make light of the possibility of a serious title tilt in public, he is now surely privately believing it could actually happen - with the midlands team behind second-placed Liverpool only on goal difference and just three points adrift of leaders and champions Manchester United.
He admitted after Villa reeled off a sixth successive away win in the league and a ninth this season: "At least we are making it a bit interesting.
"And I'm delighted with how we are performing. The spirit in the side is first class.
"We've been without John Carew for two months and now Martin Laursen and Ashley Young are missing as well. If you had told me at the start of the season we would be doing so well without players like this then I'd just never have believed you."
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