Cardiff manager Dave Jones feels his side have "one foot on the ladder" in their bid to secure promotion after his side ruthlessly despatched Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane to climb back into second spot.
Cardiff were rarely stretched as they secured a third straight win that lifted them above Norwich and into the second automatic promotion place.
Jones said: "We've got a foot on the ladder, we've worked so hard. Sheffield United were the first team we played this year and we couldn't fill the bench."
He added: "We didn't have any players. (Seyi) Olofinjana and (Craig) Bellamy weren't here and it was a case of the board getting us out of the trouble we were in and moving forward."
The Blades have won only two of the 18 league games played under manager Micky Adams since he replaced Gary Speed in late December.
Not since 1983 have the Yorkshire side played their football in the third tier, but successive home defeats leave them rooted to the bottom of the table, eight points from safety.
A dejected Adams said: "We were second best, no doubt about that. Individually and collectively."
Teenage substitute defender Harry Maguire offered some hope in the second half, while Stephen Quinn and Matthew Lowton caught the eye.
Adams added: "It's not all doom and gloom from our point of view. It took an 18-year-old boy to come on and put Bellamy on his backside.
"It's not over. We've got to win our last five and go on a run we've not been on all season. Between now and Saturday we've got to sit down and have a little think about what we're going to do."
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