Cardiff City will join Newcastle United in the Premier League next season

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The real scenes of jubilation, however, belonged to the home side, with Cardiff's fans streaming on to the pitch to mob their players as soon as the final whistle blew.

The relief to be back in the Premier League after a nervy end of the season was palpable.

But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience - both for him and the club.

Fulham, who were also in contention for promotion, slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Birmingham City to finish third.

Etheridge, who traces his Filipino roots in Tarlac through his mother, said he was "emotional" with the success of Cardiff this year and the prospect of moving into the Premier League. The large Irish contingent at Preston North End failed to make the playoffs due to Derby's victory while Cyrus Christie's Fulham did not make the automatic promotion spots.

"It's the biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute mile". There are always going to be doubters and people that will question you as a player but you've just got to get through it.

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"I've never known a week longer than this", Warnock said.

Derby's sixth place means they'll take on Fulham over two legs, while Boro will battle with Aston Villa in their semi-final.

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has said that funds will be made available for Warnock, but they are both now enjoying the celebrations after promotion was confirmed.

Warnock proved to be a flawless fit for Cardiff, who play in the image of their gritty and no-nonsense manager.

He added: "Nobody gave us a chance".

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