With our great run in the last month or so, especially the last couple of weeks, reaching the playoffs should be realistic and I wondered how many points do we approximately need to secure at least a top 7 finish?
Historically looking these were the point totals of 7th placed League Two teams in the previous 4 seasons:
Tranmere Rovers 73 (20/21)
Northampton Town 58 from 37 games (19/20 – shortened season)
Newport County 71 (18/19)
Lincoln City 75 (17/18)
Even going back a couple more seasons after these 4, the average is always around 73 points, which compared to our current 47 from 31 games played means that we need to win around 26 more points (7 wins in 15 games + a couple more draws).
This seems realistic enough having in mind that we will face 5-6 teams that are worse and less motivated than us in the final 10 rounds + we have a home game against probably already relegated Scunthorpe by that point in the final league round as well.
With the way our lads have been playing recently, I can see us winning 6 of the next 10 games and needing a win or two in the final 4 rounds to secure the playoffs. The schedule certainly goes in our favour as tommy mentioned – plenty of teams will already be either safe around 12th-18th place in the table and have nothing to play for but pride (often not enough for a motive) or relegated by the point we play them in the next 6 weeks.
Scunthorpe, Rochdale, Bradford City, Harrogate, Crawley, Barrow and Carlisle are 7 matches where I expect the lads to definitely stay unbeaten by the end of the season, most likely winning at least 5 and securing 15-17 points from those matches alone. The other 7 are against solid opposition, most in the top 6 of the League currently and those could go either way, hope for at least 10 points from those 7 the way JB has the boys playing recently.
We could always lose to Scunthorpe at home and beat Northampton away but these are some of my general predictions/expectations for those remaining 14 matches, going by the quality of opponents and the moment we are facing them (as someone already said, motivation should be low for a team which is secure and out of promotion race when facing our lads who might need crucial points in such a matchup).