Bayer Leverkusen joint coach Sami Hyypia wants his team to mount a Bundesliga charge between now and Christmas, starting with victory over Mainz tomorrow.
With the Europa League and DFB-Pokal also on the agenda, Hyypia wants his side to build up a head of steam with no more breaks between now and the winter recess on December 19.
Leverkusen could potentially have 16 games to fit in to those eight and a half weeks, and it could well be a very fruitful two months if all goes according to plan.
``We want to put together a good streak up until Christmas to edge up towards the top positions,'' said Hyypia.
``A win over Mainz could start us off in the right direction and that has to be our goal.''
In truth, Leverkusen have already started a streak of sorts with seven points from their last three matches, making the international break more of an inconvenience than a welcome chance to rest, although it has given Lars Bender time to recover from a knee injury.
``Things are looking good with him at the moment,'' Hyypia told reporters at a press conference.
Sidney Sam has not been able to recover from a niggling muscular strain, though, and Renato Augusto will also miss out.
Mainz also found their form just before the international break with back-to-back wins lifting them away from the danger area.
However, their coach Thomas Tuchel does not believe the intervening time will have eroded his side's confidence levels.
``We do have self-confidence, and it has grown,'' he said.
``Hopefully we will see that tomorrow in the way we play.''
A goal on international duty for Adam Szalai and qualification for the European Under-21 Championship for Germany international Jan Kirchhoff means their spirits will be high anyway, although they need to bring that with them into their club football, says Tuchel.
``They need to be with us both in body and in spirit,'' he said.