That was until a 6-0 thumping at Preston four games from the end of the season derailed their charge and eventually saw them miss out, ironically to North End, by the virtue of one goal scored after points and goal difference finished level between the pair.
Cardiff again lie sixth with 10 games to go and Matthews said: "The players that are still here from last season are still hurting and don't want the same thing to happen again. We know what to expect this season and we don't want to lose out again."
The young right-back has also again reiterated his desire to remain in south Wales having been linked with big-money moves to the Premier League, adding: "In the local papers there are a few things about it (leaving Cardiff) but I'm happy at Cardiff and just want to concentrate on football.
"I've been at Cardiff since I was nine and have seen them produce quality players like Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey and I want to follow in their footsteps and go on to bigger and better things."