That position in the Premier League has come at just the right time to boost confidence for the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Wednesday night.
The Scot said: "It is terrific that we have got ourselves into fourth place in the league in the week that we play a cup semi-final.
"But only if we are still in this position with only four weeks of the season to go can we start saying 'this is really on'.
"But this does show the consistent run we have been on to get ourselves into this position.
"Our form has been good, it has been a really good run. We need to maintain this, particularly in a very difficult month with some of our lads away with the African Nations Cup.
"We have been doing well, and we now need another good result in the cup."
He added: "But we are fourth on merit, because we have won the games and been consistent for a long time. The players have done well, so there is no doubt we are where we are on merit.
"But there is no point getting excited about it in January. It is in May that we want to be there.
"We know, though, that the fans are really buzzing about it, very happy. I can assure you the players feel the same. They know how well we have been playing.
"But what we don't want to do now is to freeze against Chelsea. We must be composed and patient on the ball. We have played with flair and quality and now we need to show that at the very top level against a team like Chelsea.
"We need to show the form that has got us to where we are, and we can produce it again on the big occasion against an exceptional side."