Comment: 47 points from next 23 games, please!
Will it be a Happy New Year for Pompey?
By my reckoning there are three possible outcomes to the season, and two of them are positive.
We reach the halfway point of the campaign with 39 points – and if the team were to repeat that form over the second half, they’d end with 78 points, exactly the same as last season.
And that would probably leave us in the play-offs again.
I’d be surprised if Plymouth, Carlisle and Doncaster all repeat their first-half-of-the-season points haul, but two could.
So what do Pompey need to make sure of a top-three finish?
If last season is anything to go by, 86 points will do it – and that would require us to get 47 points from our final 23 games, a big ask in anyone’s book.
If we could win 14 and draw five, that allowing for just four defeats, we’d be there.
It sounds straightforward when you put it like that, but this is Pompey, therefore nothing is straightforward.
The fact is that sort of return won’t happen without a run of something like five or six straight wins somewhere along the line.
That’s a sequence that has eluded us since Paul Cook took over but, ironically, was within our capabilities when Andy Awford took over in a relegation battle in 2014 and took us to five wins in a row.
So 47 points from 23? It’s not impossible but I wouldn’t stake too much on it.
That leaves us having to admit another brush with the play-offs is a distinct possibility.
If you go into them in flying form you have a great chance.
But I’d rather not put that to the test.
So 47 points from 23 it is then, please, Pompey.