Andreas Mikkelsen reckons the only way is up for him now after he took his third fourth place finish in succession last weekend on Rally Italia Sardegna.

Mikkelsen was re-united with his old co-driver Ola Floene for the sixth round in the 2014 World Rally Championship - after splitting with Mikko Markkula - and the duo enjoyed a fine 'first' outing together.

Indeed the Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot was in contention for a podium until he hit a rock the size of a wheel in the penultimate stage on Saturday and damaged a damper on his Polo R WRC. That effectively meant he had to settle for P4, although on the final day he was back on it, and was quickest in the event ending Power Stage - the first time he has taken the maximum three bonus points. He was also second in SS14 on Sunday - and third fastest in three other tests on Friday.

"We were in an easy position at the start of Sunday. There was a big gap to third place, and an even bigger gap to fifth place behind us. We spent the entire morning concentrating on saving the tyres as much as possible for the Power Stage," he explained. "This paid dividends, although we did make a few minor mistakes. Despite this, I managed to win my first Power Stage. Awesome!"

"All in all, I am very happy with the Rally Italy," he added. "We achieved what we set out to achieve.

"I am [also] happy to have Ola Floene back at my side as co-driver. He immediately did a great job.

"That was my third fourth place in a row. I would like to go at least one better next time out. I am confident we can achieve that.

"The only way is up now for Ola and me."