Sunderland midfielder Boudewijn Zenden says a top half finish remains the target with two Premier League games remaining.
The Black Cats are currently 12th in the table, just two points behind Stoke who occupy eighth spot.
"Last season it could have gone a few ways and we ended up in 13th place," Zenden told BBC Newcastle.
"The last two games will be important to see if we can push for 10th place, which was always the objective."
Zenden added: "We've been looking over our shoulder, because we've been on a bad run [one win in 11], but now it's a case of seeing if we can hold onto this form."
Meanwhile Saturday's 2-1 win at Bolton secured top flight safety for Zenden and his team-mates, and returned the Wearsiders to winning ways after last weekend's 3-0 defeat by Fulham.
Success was also achieved despite a crippling list of absentees, with 11 first-team players ruled out through injury.
"Friday we trained with only 12 first-team players, and the rest was filled up with youth team players," Zenden continued.
"It's great for them to get this opportunity and to see things up close, and it made things easier for the gaffer to point out his first eleven, because there wasn't much choice.
"We knew we had to stick to our game plan, we knew what Bolton would be about, we were solid, and we had really good team spirit."