Kevin Blackwell refused to rule out a push for automatic promotion after Sheffield United moved into the play-off places with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.
He also revealed that Matt Kilgallon had missed the game through injury, and was not set for a move to St James' Park, as reported in one newspaper.
Kevin Blackwell: "I think over the last two years we have been the form side in the last half of the season.
"I think last season we were nine points clear of everybody else over 10 games after Christmas and I think the season that I came here we had 14 games and we were four points clear of everybody over 14 games, so if we can achieve any of those two we'll have a good run.
"But right now, we've got to make sure we stay in the top six, and don't kill ourselves.
"This is a tough league, you saw Middlesbrough change themselves today and I thought they were much more physical and a much harder nut to crack than they have been of late.
"In this league, as Gordon (Strachan) was saying before the game, it's a tough, tough league because every game you can't sit down and predict the score.
"What you have to do is earn the right to play and from that point of view I was pleased with the good aspects of our game."