Cardiff manager Neil Warnock believes his side have the character to complete their return to the Premier League.
The Bluebirds need two wins from their final three games to guarantee promotion after Aron Gunnarsson's strike lifted them back above Fulham and into the Sky Bet Championship's top two.
Forest's set-piece woes continued as they conceded for a 14th time at a corner this season. Sean Morrison rose highest at the back post to score his fifth headed goal of the season.
The visitors equalised through an unlikely source when Liam Bridcutt guided Ben Osborne's cross past Neil Etheridge for his first goal in seven years.
But just when Cardiff needed a hero, there was Gunnarsson to score his first goal for over a year and give them the advantage in the race for promotion.
"Gunnarsson was poor in the first 20 minutes but that was because we were sitting too deep. When the centre-halves came forward we were a lot better and dominated," said Warnock.
"In the second half the goal gave us a jolt, they were playing with freedom, but all credit to the boys, they don't know when they are beat.
"God knows what Fulham must be thinking, they're 22 games unbeaten but we're still there like a rash.
"The glass is half full, this is the best group of players I've had, they have the character the sides I've got promoted had.
"In a normal season, Fulham would have been up with Wolves, but it's not normal because we're scratching at the heels.
"Derby County and Hull away are as tough as they come, there are no easy games, but I know we'll go fighting until the end. No matter what our limitations are, we have the team spirit."