Ipswich Town forward Kayden Jackson says Wednesday's 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat by Fulham was a good test of the levels they need to reach to become a Premier League side.
Town, second in the Championship, put up a decent showing with a totally changed team against the Cottagers.
"We know what we're capable of and how much better we can become," Jackson told BBC Radio Suffolk.
"It was a tough, tough game - it was a good night to test ourselves."
Ipswich have made an excellent start to the Championship under Kieran McKenna and are nine points clear of third-placed Leeds with a game in hand.
Before playing Fulham, Town had won nine of their previous 10 games - including six in a row at Portman Road.
Despite defeat, Elkan Baggott's late header ensured they have scored in their last 32 games.
"We all have aspirations here of the club to get to the Premier League in the not too distant future," Jackson, 29, said.
"It shows the levels we need to match and go above if we want to be a competitive team in any league."
'A lot of teams would've gone under'
Jackson said the Cottagers showed there were lessons to learn all over the pitch.
"They seemed to do everything very well - move the ball, ball retention, they showed the ruthlessness in the final third and creating overloads and using the ball and space well," he added.
"We got in good opportunities but, possibly, rushed the final pass or were too eager in certain moments."
Jackson said it was important to look at the results in the wider context of Ipswich's recent progress.
"Six months ago we were playing in League One and now we've mixed it with Fulham and not been miles off it," he said.
"To still be in the game is testament to all the work we've put in. I think a hell of a lot of teams would've gone under."
Jackson was one of 11 changes from their previous league game with boss McKenna mindful of the club's demanding Championship schedule. The Fulham tie is one of four matches in the next 10 days before the international break.
"We know what the schedule's like coming up," Jackson said.
"It's going to take everyone to be successful. We've been working hard for the last 18 months since the boss came in.
"We've got a very good squad and it's going to be horses for courses.
"Hopefully when my opportunities come I'll take it. As players, we just have to stay ready.
"We've started unbelievable in the league and whoever's come in has tried their best to help the team."