The lads currently sit 11th on 26 points, 14 points behind leaders Wycombe, with 29 games left to play in the league. So with Sunderland’s promotion in doubt what do the Black Cats need to do to secure escape from League 1?
The simple answer is a lot.
Breaking it down though on the face of its by no means a monumental task. The target has to be top 6 as a minimum and top 2 as the maximum. While we failed in the play off final last year, it’s still a method of promotion and has to be considered. We don’t have to win the league and that is what is important to remember.
There are 29 games left to play which means we could pick up a maximum of 87 points if we won all of them. I know this is a pipe dream but this also highlights how it is by no means over. Luton Town were promoted as champions with 94 points and Barnsley finished one 91 points. The lads ended last season on 85. We currently have 26 points.
We could still make that “100 point” target with 8 games to spare.
The target for automatic promotion is around 87-93 points and to win the league it's like to be 93+. This is based on the last 5 years of League 1. It’s unlikely but not impossible, but the play offs is the much more likely target at this point.
The games eventually start to fly by and you can go from the cusp of the automatic promotion to struggling to stay in the play offs in the space of 2 weeks.
Over December and January we have 10 games. We need to win at least 8 of them if we want to stand a chance of automatic promotion. Anything less than 24 points will force the Black Cats to settle for the play offs, at best, again.
Let’s just hope the men in red and white are up to the task.