Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray believes his side can draw inspiration for next season from their successful end to the current campaign.
Monday's 3-0 win at promotion hopefuls Cardiff was the club's sixth success in the last 11 Championship games.
"If the bulk of the squad is here next season there are lots of positives," Mowbray told BBC Tees.
"There's enough optimism about results in the second half of the season that we could be in the mix."
Mowbray added: "The young players like Richie Smallwood have come in and done extremely well, and if they've got a part to play next year then so be it."
But hopes of keeping the squad intact hinges on the financial situation at the Riverside.
The Teessiders are under pressure to cut the club's wage bill, as Mowbray has previously admitted the figure remains one of the highest in the division.
Argentine midfielder Julio Arca could leave the club with his contract due to expire in the summer, while striker Kris Boyd - currently on loan at Nottingham Forest - could also move on to save on salaries.