Jardim keen to maintain Monaco's Ligue 1 surge

Leonardo Jardim hopes Monaco can continue their resurgence in Ligue 1 on Friday when they host rivals for a top-three place in Saint-Etienne.

Monaco have risen from mid-table obscurity to fourth position, six points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain with a game in hand, after losing just one of their last 14 league matches.

Jardim has been delighted with the upturn in form after a tough start to the campaign, and he is now focused on breaking into the top three.

"Our goal is to continue our ascent in the standings," he said. "It will be difficult to face Saint-Etienne [currently fifth in the table], who have a very good team and good players.

"Every game is decisive now. The teams are very close at the top of the table.

"We must consolidate our position and then see if getting higher is possible."

As well as progressing in the league, Monaco have also exceeded expectations in the UEFA Champions League, and face Juventus in the quarter-finals later this month.