Call us eternal optimists but here at Notts County Football Club we’re not throwing in the towel just yet.
Although the results may not have gone our way, there’s nine games left to make up a seven-point deficit.
We know it’s still possible so here’s a list of reasons why you should keep the faith and back the side as we look to complete another Great Escape…
1. Six-Pointers - The Magpies face three relegation rivals in the next three games. There’s no room for slip-ups but positive results can change the landscape very, very quickly.
2. Inspiration - When we beat Sheffield United in January, the Blades were in the thick of the battle against the drop. After seven consecutive league wins followed by a draw with Preston North End on Monday night, they are now within touching distance of the Play-Offs. If United can turn things around, so can we.
3. The Black & White Army – Statistics show that County’s best performances at Meadow Lane have been delivered in front of the season’s biggest audiences, including Sheffield United, Coventry City and Crewe Alexandra. If the home faithful turn out in force we’ve got every chance of making a fight of it.
4. The Kop - A continuation of the above… When Notts fans took over the Kop in 2007.08, the immense vocal backing spurred the team on to back-to-back home victories over Accrington Stanley and Wycombe Wanderers, which ensured that the club stayed in the Football League. Remember that Richard Butcher goal? The noise? Survival.
5. Been There, Done That - During Hayden Mullins’ spell with West Ham, the Hammers were 10 points adrift of safety with nine games left in 2006.07. Doomed? No, they fought back to win seven of their remaining games - including a surprise triumph on the final day against champions Manchester United - and preserved their Premier League status. It’s only impossible if you give up.
6. Individual Magic - In West Ham’s aforementioned survival, a lot was put down to key players finding form. There can be no arguing that the Magpies have some talented players in the ranks. It’s time to stand up and be counted - before it’s too late.
7. The Gaffer - In 2011.12, Queen’s Park Rangers were tipped for relegation from the Premier League but a fighting spirit epitomised by Notts’ boss Shaun Derry, who made up part of their midfield unit, saw them avoid the drop. The boss’s enthusiasm is unrivalled and you know that he will not give up hope of keeping the Magpies in Sky Bet League 1.
8. Stranger Things Have Happened - Sven Goran-Eriksson walking through the gates, Sol Campbell pulling on a County shirt… Weirder events have taken place Meadow Lane so avoiding relegation – albeit a big task - does not seem too far fetched, surely?
9. We Pretty Much Always Leave It Late - Typical Notts, saving it until the last possible moment – it always seems to be the case. Who can forget the 2004.05 finale and the emotional comeback against Bury that ensured the club avoided slipping into non-league by the skin of their teeth. Then, more recently, Survival Saturday in 2010.11 when it went down to a final-day draw with Brighton & Hove Albion. Again, your club needs you.
10. We’ve Done It Before - In 2001.02, Notts had 31 points with just nine games remaining but went on to hit the 50-point mark with six wins and one draw to finish 19th - six points clear of the bottom four. We can do it again.
The fat lady may be humming, as Shaun Derry described it after Saturday’s loss, but she’s not singing yet.
Anything can happen in football so make sure you’re there to inspire another Great Escape when we take on Carlisle United on Saturday at Meadow Lane (3pm kick-off).