Reading boss Brian McDermott believes his side are "edging toward safety" after the 4-1 win over Derby.
McDermott has seen his resurgent team win six of their last seven league games and in Jimmy Kebe and Shane Long he has the in-form duo in the Championship.
"We are edging towards safety now," McDermott said.
"We've taken 18 points from 21 and we are not far away from midtable. We are dragging teams toward us and we have players now who are looking the part."
Kebe has hit six goals in seven games while Long boasts a record of seven in his last six appearances - but did miss a penalty after Saul Deeney had hauled down Jay Tabb.
McDermott added: "We'd had a tough game against Aston Villa on Sunday but we came out all guns blazing and at times we were excellent. It's difficult to play against 10 men and we had a sticky spell but once we got the third it was comfortable."
Derby boss Nigel Clough has already made calls to ease his goalkeeping crisis after the 4-1 defeat at Reading.
Clough was forced to put captain Robbie Savage in goal for 50 minutes after seeing first-choice keeper Stephen Bywater limp off injured and his replacement Saul Deeney sent off.
However, Clough is confident of having a goalkeeper in on loan for Saturday's trip to Doncaster after setting his staff on the task at half-time.
"We have already made some calls and we will have a loan keeper in for the weekend," he said. "I've never lost two keepers in a night before. Stephen has been playing with a back injury and it seized up so he had to come off.
"Saul was doing well until he got sent off. I had no complaints with the penalty decision but it would have been a hell of a finish to score from where the ball had rolled to. I thought we'd eradicated the rule that it was a straight red card."
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