Keith Hill senses promotion is within the grasp of his Rochdale side after holding out for a 0-0 draw at rivals Fleetwood Town.
The home side created the best chances of an entertaining opening 45 minutes with Antoni Sarcevic twice threatening to break the deadlock and Iain Hume finding the net only to be denied by an offside flag.
Hill's side looked a danger on the break Ian Henderson being denied by the bravery of Chris Maxwell and they came closer after the break with Jamie Allen's overhead kick coming back off the woodwork.
Hill believes his side will now be hard to catch.
"The game was really important to us," he said. " We've got the points on the board
"We've had an excellent season, no matter what happens.
"It's time for them this month to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. Let's be honest, we're nine points clear of fourth place with six to play.
"The teams behind are going to have to average two a game to catch us. That's a big ask.
"They are playing catch up."
Graham Alexander was frustrated not to further close the gap to third placed Chesterfield.
He said: "It was a game we could have won, we should have. We played really well first half and just didn't take our chances.
"We got into some good positions and just didn't have the final ball or the finish,.
"The lads are disappointed, but we now have to take that kind of performance into the games we have left.
"If we can do that we'll put ourselves in a really strong position.
"As long as it can be done mathematically we've got to believe in ourselves. I've got a great group of lads I still think we can do this."