Philippe Saint Andre has set Sale Sharks the target of winning a third European Challenge Cup crown - and with it Heineken Cup 2008 / 2009 qualification.
The 2002 and 2005 tournament winners face 1998 Heineken Cup champions Bath Rugby at The Recreation Ground on Saturday with Sharks coach Saint Andre keen to secure his team's place at next season's European high table.
"Our target is to win the European Challenge Cup to secure our qualification for next season's Heineken Cup because to do that through our finishing position in the Premiership may prove difficult," said Saint Andre.
"And winning the European Challenge Cup would be a great achievement in itself - though perhaps we would have preferred the semi-finals being played on a home and away basis.
"However, our fate will be decided in a one-off game, and, what's more, it will be on Bath's turf - which will be far from easy - so it is not ideal from our point of view and naturally we would have preferred to play this semi-final on a neutral ground.
"That said, there are four English teams in the semi-finals, so naturally we know each other well as we play regularly in the domestic competitions. We are all fighting for qualifying for the Heineken Cup so there is a lot at stake.
"I admit it would have been nicer to compete against a French team in the very final stages of the competition but we will give the semi-final against Bath Rugby 100 per cent. We know it will not be an easy task as they are a team in top form at the moment, but what we want is to get back into the Heineken Cup.
"We have played them three times already this season, twice in the championship and once in the EDF Energy Cup, so we know them well.
"They have good and skilful players in their squad who like to play with the ball in hand, and are good at keeping possession while their pack is particularly heavy. What is more, they are very confident at present thanks to their second place in the Premiership.
"I believe all their players are dangerous, but particularly Olly Barkley, Butch James, Steve Borthwick, Danny Grewcock, Michael Lipman and Lee Mears. They are a well balanced and well trained team and deserve to be in the Heineken Cup.
"However, I am satisfied with our progression and form so far. We won five games with try bonus points but then we went to Montpellier and missed a penalty on the 22m line at the end of the game which prevented us from playing the semi-final at home. That would be the only negative point in this competition.
"And the tournament has been good for us. I wasn't with Sale in 2002 when they first won the European Challenge Cup but I think that the 2005 tournament victory really was the start of the club's rise because after that we qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and then won the domestic championship the following season.
"It shows that the team who win the European Challenge Cup normally becomes a big club in its own championship and also a very good team in Europe. ASM Clermont Auvergne is the best example I can think of this season as they riding high in the Top 14 competing with Toulouse and they played well in this season's Heineken Cup."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.