Lee Peltier is preparing to help Cardiff City launch a push to qualify for the Championship play-offs next season.
Manager Neil Warnock has improved the Bluebirds in terms of results dramatically, leading a team who were second from bottom at one stage into the top half.
“We were right down there at the start of the season so I think we’ve come a long way,” said right-back Peltier.
“If we finish in the top half, it just makes you think what could have been if we’d started off properly. We would have been right up there.
“Everybody is fighting for places and competition in the team is great. That will just make us stronger.
“We have a good team spirit in the dressing room and there’s no jealousy or anything like that. It will be good to get some fresh faces in for next season and see what happens.”
Warnock is making big decisions about which players will leave this summer and who will stay, but City have little to play for as a team apart from improving their league position. They are currently 13th.
They could, though, have a say at both ends of the table. Cardiff play relegation battlers Wigan Athletic away on Saturday, while they also take on promotion-chasing Newcastle United at home and Huddersfield Town away.
Peltier is fit again after suffering an ankle injury, making his first appearance since January in the home win against Nottingham Forest.
He played for just over an hour before going off and admitted he had feared his season was over.
Peltier was suffering from a niggling ankle problem and he said: “The plan was to get through it and have my ankle sorted at the end of the season, but it just locked up against Preston in January and I thought ‘enough is enough’.
“I went to see the surgeon and he operated straightaway. It was quite a big operation, so I was glad to get it sorted. I feel good and I’m just looking to get myself back fit.
“I was due to be out for the season. The gaffer’s been telling me not to push it, but I’ve been wanting to come back in the squad.”
While Warnock and his players prepare for this Saturday’s trip to Wigan, the club are expecting up to 6,000 visiting fans when Newcastle United come to South Wales on Friday, April 28 (7.45pm).
That is the last Championship match of the season for the second-placed Magpies.
Cardiff initially made 3,400 tickets available, but have agreed to accommodate up to 6,000.
Season ticket holders have been told that instead of the usual 2,200 away allocation, there are up to around 6,000 places allocated to Newcastle supporters if the demand is there.
Some Cardiff fans will be offered alternatives to their usual seats with both the Safety Advisory Group and South Wales Police backing the decision.