Sol Bamba says “everything is in place” to allow Cardiff City to establish themselves as a Premier League club.
The Bluebirds will be a game away from an immediate return to the top flight if they can turn around their play-off semi-final against Fulham on Thursday.
Centre-back Bamba, 35, believes Cardiff belong at the highest level.
“It’s an unbelievable city, a capital city, a great fan base, the facilities are good and a wonderful stadium,” Bamba said.
“I think every player and every fan will tell you their team deserves to be in the Premier League or they are a Premier League club.
“But I’ve been in different clubs in this country and all around Europe, and I am telling you this club should be in the Premier League.
“Everything is in place to be in the Premier League regularly.
“It would mean a lot to us especially coming down last season and to bounce straight back. It would be huge, absolutely huge.”
The odds are against Cardiff going into the part two of their semi-final meeting with Fulham after Scott Parker’s Cottagers won the first leg 2-0.
But Neil Harris is adamant his players can make history by becoming the first team to overturn a two-goal deficit in the second leg of a semi-final in the second tier.
Bamba says Cardiff will relish the challenge – even if he feels Harris needs more time to make his mark on the club after only eight months in charge.
“We have to be honest – it’s a work in progress,” Bamba added.
“We had the new manager come in. It was not easy for him. He came in with a lot of players already here from the previous regime.
“We have to give credit to him and give him time. He’s proved how good he’s been so far so hopefully he will have time to build and take us back to the Premier League.”