Darren Murray insists the title is not beyond Portadown after they returned to form with a comprehensive victory at Stangmore Park.
The striker blasted his second hat-trick in the space of 18 days as the Ports claimed a decisive win over Mid-Ulster rivals Dungannon.
It lifted Ronnie McFall’s side – who had gone three league games without a win – to fourth in the table.
However, Murray’s sights are fixed higher up the league – and he claims a top-three finish is the minimum target at Shamrock Park.
“It is still a bit early to say where we are going to finish, but realistically we should be looking to be in the top three,” he said.
“If you’re up around the top of the table come Christmas time then you are in with a shout of anything.
“A title challenge would be nice, but we won’t be getting too far ahead of ourselves.”
It was game over after 27 minutes, with Portadown already 3-0 up.
The first came when three players were drawn towards Kevin Braniff, allowing Gary Twigg to dart in behind and score with a left-foot drive.
The first of Murray’s three came 60 seconds later after Braniff’s cross slipped from the goalkeeper’s hands and the striker headed home.
And it was 3-0 when a Chris Casement corner was flicked on towards goal, with Murray getting the touch.
The second half brought little relief for Dungannon, with Tim Mouncey heading home the visitors’ fourth.
Darren Boyce hit the post for Swifts and Buchanan made two good saves, before Murray made it 5-0 following a Neil McCafferty pass.
It was the striker’s second treble of the month – he also scored three in Portadown’s League Cup win over Lisburn Distillery on October 8.
“It was a far better performance compared to the past couple of weeks,” Murray added.
“This result was coming. We have been missing chances which the likes of myself and Gary Twigg should be taking, but today we took our chances.
“The goalkeeper dropped the ball for the first one and I’ll probably not get many easier all season.
“The second comes from a header then for the third Neil McCafferty did well to win the ball and slide me in. My first touch was good and I finished it into the corner.”
Dungannon boss Darren Murphy kept his players in the dressing room for 30 minutes after the final whistle, and struggled to explain his thoughts when he finally emerged.
“It’s probably the poorest performance that I’ve ever been involved in as a player or manager.” he said.