Dexter Blackstock is confident Nottingham Forest can secure a safe passage through the Championship play-offs.
The Reds are set to face Blackpool on Saturday in the first leg of their semi-final showdown, with the Premier League now within touching distance.
The Seasiders were only assured of their spot in the top six on the final day of the season, surprising everyone with their achievements, and Forest know they cannot afford to take Ian Holloway's side lightly.
They were the only team to beat Forest home and away in the league this season and Blackstock expects another tough test when they lock horns in the promotion shake-up.
"They have got to be shown a lot of respect," Blackstock told skysports.com.
"Anybody who finishes in the top six in the league after 46 games deserves to be there, whether it is Blackpool or if it had been Newcastle United, it doesn't make a difference. They are there on merit and they deserve to be there. We have to show them a lot of respect and we will be taking them very seriously.
"They have gone on a great run to nip in and they will fancy their chances. I am sure they are not just in there to make up the numbers. Their manager has said that the pressure is off them and they are not supposed to be there, but there is no doubt that they want to get to Wembley."
"They beat us twice this year. They deserved the result at their place but it was a bit of a false score at our place and they were really lucky to get away with the win. They have beaten us twice, though, and maybe that will give them an extra bit of confidence."
Forest head out on the road this weekend as they look to take another positive step towards the top flight, and Blackstock hopes the fact that the second leg will be staged at the City Ground will work in the Reds' favour.
He said: "I think it is always a bonus in any competition to come back and have the second leg at home. The third and fourth placed teams play away first and that gives you a massive advantage because you can go away from home and get a positive result before coming back to your home ground and finishing the job off.
"Our home form has been amazing as well, 19 games unbeaten with 17 wins. If we can get a positive result up there then we will be very confident."
History dictates that finishing third can be a kiss of death for those entering the play-offs, but Blackstock is refusing to buy into that belief and is hoping Forest can secure promotion on a memorable day out at Wembley.
He added: "Everyone is pulling in the right direction and have been all season.
"Towards the back end of last season things started to come together and the manager (Billy Davies) has been excellent. He deserves a lot of the credit for turning things around.
"Now it is about finishing off the job. We all thought we could achieve automatic promotion, but it wasn't to be as we tailed off a bit towards the end. But we have a great chance now to go up through the play-offs.
"A lot of people say the best way to go up is through the play-offs because you get a day out at Wembley and everything else. You could say it is better than going up automatically, and I feel that."