Brighton boss Gus Poyet knows his table-topping side are edging closer to their goal of promotion after a fourth successive home league win, beating Hartlepool 4-1.
Striker Glenn Murray extended his season's tally to 14 with a goal in each half and Chris Wood and Craig Noone were also on target to maintain the Seagulls' three-point lead at the top of League One.
Poyet believes his side's destiny lies very much in their own hands and said: "It's up to us now. We're getting close but we must maintain our consistency.
"The idea was to get a win somehow and the game should have been won by half-time."
Brighton visit Premier League Stoke in the FA Cup next weekend and captain Gordon Greer is convinced they will give a good account of themselves.
He said: "For us to be playing in the last 16 of the FA Cup is great. It'll be a big test facing a Stoke side who will put a lot of balls in the box, but we will relish going there."
Hartlepool have now conceded four goals in each of their last three away games and manager Mick Wadsworth admitted it was always going to be a supreme test for his men taking on the leaders.
He said: "It's a fact that Hartlepool have never won away at Brighton. We beat them earlier in the season at home, but it would have been a fantastic bonus to have got anything from them in this match.
"We gave away a very poor first goal, the second one was also disappointing and it was always going to be difficult to come back.
"After conceding four goals in each of our last three away games, we're grateful to have a run of home games now and it's vital we pick up points."
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