This morning's newspaper gives some fleeting hope to everyone who wants things to end as they should.
Naturally, if Forest get into the play-offs this season, promotion is 100% guaranteed. But making the top six is pretty far from certain at the moment. With seven games to go, we are currently seven points adrift and without a competitive Goal Difference.
There are all sorts of ways of projecting our position at the end of the season. Given that our recent form is quite good, I've seized on the idea of taking our points average over the last five games and assuming that this form remains consistent to the end of the season.
Here's what I worked out with my slide rule;
On the form of the last five games (WDDWW - as good a run as any that Forest have enjoyed this season), we've taken eleven points from a possible 15. On this form, we can expect to take 15 or 16 points from the remaining seven games, finishing on 70 or 71 points.
Our nearest rivals (Swansea in 5th on 63 pts, and Barnsley and Oldham in 6th and 7th respectively, both on 62) have better goal differences. So, if we are to make the top six, we will have to match Swansea's points at least.
So, on my logic (last five games form) Swansea have had a bad run (6 points from five games). If this average is played out over their last seven games, the will get 8 or 9 points. They finish on 71 or 72 points.
Alternatively, (clutching at straws) Barnsley are having an even worse end to the season than Swansea (four points from five games). Extrapolate this form over the last seven games (5 or 6 points) and they will finish on 67 or 68 points.
The blot on this landscape, though, mere existence of the loathsome Oldham Athletic. 12 points from the last five games - better than the rejuvenated Trees. Wankers!
This should give them 16 or 17 points at the end. On this form, they finish the campaign on 78 or 79 points.
So, the end-of-season placings on current form...
5th - Oldham - 78 or 79 pts
6th - Swansea - 71 or 72 pts
7th - FOREST - 70 or 71 pts
8th - Barnsley - 67 or 68 pts
Not a bad projection to the perennial optimist. Only a slight variation to this projection gives us the absolute certainty of Championship football next season, and a trip to Old Trafford in the Premiership year later. If Forest's wins are particularly high-scoring (which I think we can all agree that they're bound to be), this could even dispense with the poor Goal Difference problem.
And Oldham have had a spectacularly good run, haven't they? They're bound to come a cropper soon, aren’t they?
The post-Megson winning run ended with an away draw at Bristol City and a home draw to Gillingham (for fuck's sake, Gillingham! At home!), and the final six points in that sequence were taken from Doncaster away (good!) and MK Dons at home (surely points that were nailed on at the start of the season?).
So that '11 points from 5 games' is probably flattering in reality.
We're staying down, aren't we? *sob*
Update 1: Col is keeping May Bank Holiday free for the play-offs. Bless!
Update 2: Wikipedia on Forest's current management. Am I alone in suspecting that some people are starting to treat Wikipedia as a surrogate personal blog?