Carlisle boss Greg Abbott believes Saturday's 2-1 win against Huddersfield Town is evidence they deserve to be in the mix for promotion this season.
The Cumbrians now have a four-point gap between themselves and the chasing pack for the last League One play-off place.
"They deserve to be up there," Abbott told BBC Radio Cumbria.
"We've seen a fantastic performance from a group of players who have started to believe that they can be up there with the best of them."
Abbott's side, who are now within three points of fifth-placed MK Dons, were backed by a crowd of 7,530, the second-highest home attendance of the season after Sheffield United, which followed a call for support from the United manager last month.
"It is about time people did say how well that this group of players has done and go with a bit of optimism and belief," Abbott continued.
"They actually dragged us over the line again, the crowd were really good, it is amazing what impact it has on everybody around the place.
"Everybody is on their knees in that dressing room with elation and the amount of effort and energy I think everybody has put into the day.
"To send home a really big crowd happy, they have worked so hard."