The disturbing thought of Sunderland football club in League One may soon become an even harsher reality if Chris Coleman is unable to turn around what has happened on the pitch up to now.
The Black Cats find themselves in 23rd position of the Championship, three points adrift of safety and only one place above Burton Albion at the foot of the table.
But just how many points on average will Sunderland need to survive the drop?
We look back at the average points needed to survive from the last decade of Championship football.
Last season saw Blackburn relegated with 51 points – this is unlikely to be the benchmark again this year, but with 42 points left to play for, Coleman’s men would find themselves with an uphill task of getting 25 points from their remaining 14 games.
And if cookie’s men are to put in performances like they did on Saturday when they lost at home to Brentford, they’ll be lucky to get any points from their remaining fixtures.
Of course, it is highly unlikely Sunderland will need 51 points to stay in the league this season, but the average points needed over the past ten Championship seasons is still 45, 19 points ahead of where the club is currently sat.
So how many points will that mean per game on average?
1.35714285714 to be exact, or to put that in footballing terms, Sunderland just need to start winning games.
Why not start with Tuesday night against relegation rivals Bolton?
If there was ever a time for Sunderland to win a game and put back-to-back wins together, it would be tomorrow night against Bolton – following that at home against an out of form Middlesbrough on Saturday.
It certainly won’t be an easy task, but the lads in red and white are most certainly better suited to playing away from the toxicity of the Stadium of Light at the moment – and with Coleman on the touchline, we’ve got every chance.