West Ham United assistant manager Neil McDonald says they deserve promotion.
The Hammers missed out on automatic promotion to Southampton on the final day of the season but have responded superbly, winning the first leg of their semi-final 2-0 at Cardiff on Thursday.
"I think the play-offs have been one of the best things that has been introduced to football along with three points," assistant manager McDonald said.
"It gives everybody a chance, it keeps the whole season going and, yes, it is slightly disappointing to finish third and so many points above fourth, [fifth and sixth] but we knew what was happening.
"We knew what the situation was and we've tried to put that to the back of our mind now.
"Everybody is equal, the whole four teams in the play-offs are in good form and the Blackpool v Birmingham game is on a knife edge.
"I suppose so is ours but we have a good advantage going into the second leg 2-0 up and we have to try and take advantage of that.
"I think it has been an impressive season even though we have not got automatic promotion.
"I suppose the fans are looking more so to the Wembley final but we're so concentrated on the one game on Monday against Cardiff."