Colchester United Head Coach John McGreal is pleased with his side's first half of the season, ahead of the trip to second placed MK Dons on Saturday.
Both teams have had a strong first half to the season and, as the Christmas fixtures get underway, Saturday's game presents a real test of both side's ambitions going into the new year.
And John believes that the U's have earned the right to be in the thick of a promotion race.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's test, he said: “There are big clubs in this league but we feel we’re also a big team in this league.
“We’ve proved it up to now. We have to continue that improvement and get those fine margins and percentages right.
“I give other teams the utmost respect but rather than asking can we compete with them, we ask ‘can they compete with us’?
“That’s how I believe in what we’ve got.
“We can’t get away from how well the players have done. They’re really enjoying it and so am I and everyone else.
“I don’t think we’ve had a team in the top three over the last ten years, no matter what level. It’s been a long time and we want to change the mindset.
“We want to achieve and we’re a fantastic football club.”
Tickets for the game on Saturday will be on sale from the JobServe Community Stadium until 2.00pm on Friday, after which time they'll be available on the day from MK Dons.