Thierry Neuville insists he will have to push hard on the final day of Wales Rally GB to ensure he ends his time with the M-Sport team on the podium after a solid run through Saturday's stages.

Although once again unable to keep pace with Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala out front, the Belgian ace was able to retain his overnight third place, although he now sits more than a minute away from the lead.

If results stay as they are, Neuville will wrap up second in the championship standings but he said he couldn't relax after the third VW of Andreas Mikkselsen closed to within 20 second after strong day in the Welsh forests.

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"It's been a good day and we set some good times this morning," he told Crash.net. "We lost about ten seconds in one stage this afternoon that was new, but I'm enjoying it and we're still on the podium, which looks good for second in the championship.

"We've seen that the VW is strong here and they have a car that seems to be working perfectly, but I still have a lead of 20 seconds over Andreas and I think that should be enough. We can't relax though as that is when mistakes happen, and we have to keep pushing hard which is our plan.

"If we can wrap up second in the championship, it will be a huge achievement for us."

Mikkelsen's charge up the order in the third Volkswagen came on the back of a run that saw him only fail to make it into the top three on one of Saturday's seven stages.

The Norwegian will now hope to end the year with a first trip onto the podium although he admitted that he may have to settle for matching the fourth place finish he picked up in Greece earlier in the year.

"It's been a long day today and with no service, we had to drive accordingly and make sure we didn't take any big risks," he said. "We had no scares, which is good and were able to push and are now only 20 seconds behind Thierry.

"We will try our best to catch him but I think 20 seconds is too much without him making a mistake."

Mikkelsen can't afford to focus too much on Neuville ahead however, with Mads Ostberg little more than seven seconds behind in fifth place.

"We made some changes to the car that worked well, and we have the car in a good position for tomorrow," he said. "We can do better than we have done so far this weekend with the changes we have made and fourth is the only thing I'm focused on.

"When we got the set-up right in Dyfnant and the last proper stage we were quicker than Andreas and we can catch him."