Steve Bruce is hoping his Sunderland side can help him to the "next step" in his career by landing some silverware.
The Wearsiders take on Aston Villa in the fourth round of the Carling Cup at the Stadium of Light with Bruce banking on his players to enable him to achieve a personal milestone.
Bruce, who arrived at Sunderland from Wigan over the summer, said: "I think managers are put under huge pressure to stay in the Premier League. If you don't then you can lose your job."
He added: "My attitude towards it is 'what am I managing for?'
"We all dream about being a Premier League manager and the next step is 'can we realistically win something?'
"I have never been remotely close but that has to be the aim."
Sunderland have not reached the League Cup final since 1985 when they lost to a Norwich side which featured a young Bruce at centre-half.
And the former Manchester United defender is hoping the club can make a serious bid for a place at Wembley this time round.
He added: "If you can get on a cup run it can give the whole club, the whole area a boost. I think the fans want to see you take it seriously and we have a chance, we are a Premier League team.
"But this competition is more difficult than the FA Cup as the big boys don't come into it (the FA Cup) until later."