Martin O’Neill believes his side have the mental strength to secure a play-off spot.
The Reds welcome Swansea City to The City Ground on Saturday as the season heads into the final stretch.
“You could condense it into an eight-game season now,” O’Neill told the club’s official website.
“The international break has broken it up quite nicely in many aspects although we had some players on international duty. Most of us were here and now it is an eight-game season and we need to start winning some football matches.
“We are in the mix along with an awful lot of other teams. Loads of teams will consider themselves having some sort of chance of doing which is no bad thing, as it means teams will have lots to play for between now and the end of the season.
“I would have taken this position some weeks ago and now, let’s go for it; don’t die wondering if that’s the case. Let us be strong as we possibly can be physically; you can’t change that overnight but you certainly can change mentality and that is the most important thing from here on in.”
The international break has allowed time for players to return to fitness with top scorer Lewis Grabban available for selection again and Matty Cash also up to speed.
He said: “Lewis Grabban and Matty Cash are available now. Obviously, Cashy played part of the game a couple of weeks ago but training has helped him. They are available and that is good news for us.”