David Wagner says a win against Sheffield Wednesday would show Huddersfield Town are taking the “next step” in their bid to become a Championship force.
There have been nine victories in 22 league games under the head coach’s stewardship.
But none have been against a top-six side like Wednesday, and Wagner wants that to change.
The German says there is plenty of work ahead and has warned it could take two or three years for his blueprint to take effect.
But he believes his players have what it takes to slow Wednesday’s play-off push.
Carlos Carvalhal’s sixth-placed side were Wagner’s first opponents as Town boss back in November.
His 16th-placed charges were beaten 3-1 at Hillsborough , and he said: “They will be strong opponents - but they are not unbeatable.
“We must trust in ourselves and show our performance and whether we can take that next step.
“That is to get points against a side in the top six, and it’s an exciting question for me.
“In my view, the top six sides now are all the six best in our division.
“Of course we want to become like them, and this is our ambition.
“But we also have to be realistic and say it is a long-term project.
“We are making progress but it’s not just six months and a summer transfer window.
“It could be more two or three years, but we are ambitious and we do want to develop.”