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Not Nigel

Is this the closest the bottom half has ever been?

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Well, is it?

I know that it remains unlikely that any of the ''33 club'' will find themselves below 17th, but with 27 points lefts to play for (for most teams) and 30 points left to play for for the team in 17th, crazier things have happened.

Out of interest I checked out the West Ham, Fulham, Newcastle, and Stoke forums, and all of those teams fans are giving more than a passing mention to relegation (especially West Ham fans, who appear to be seriously worried).

Do you think that there has ever before there have been so many teams in this league worried about relegation with such a short period to go?

8/9 games to go, and 11 teams concerned about the possibility of relegation, with the team in 17th potentially being just 6 points away from the team in 11th place tomorrow.

That group of 11 teams will probably decline every week from now of course, starting tomorrow in fact, especially if Wigan fail to beat Newcastle.

But by the same stretch, if Wigan do beat Newcastle, it will still be 11 teams considering the possibility next week.

Has the league ever been this close before?

Realistically, it will only take a victory for any of the ''33 club'' to stop worrying. But there are two teams in the league who only have 1 win in their last 10, so for every one of those teams the possibility remains.

Unfortunately, we are one of those two teams with only 1 win in 10. In fact, we have 1 win in 11.

It isn''t over until the fact lady sings, I hope that she can sing at the JJB when we beat Wigan on the 30th March, because if she hasn''t at least started warming her voice up then, sorry, but I''ll begin to get worried.

Cue accusations of negativity, being "down on the team", or "wanting us to go down".

Fulham, West Ham, Newcastle, and Norwich all have reason to be worried, and sorry guys but there is a simply unnerving fact.... in the last ten games those four teams have:

Fulham 13 points

West Ham 10 points

Newcastle 13 points

Norwich 8 points.

All four teams have reason to be worried. We have a little more reason than them.

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Look at it this way. QPR and Reading are 10 points behind us with 8 games left to play so need 1.25 points equivalent from every game to get to where we are now. They are not going to finish above us wherever they finish.

Wigan are 9 points behind us with 10 games left to play. That''s a big deficit to claw back especially if we can draw at the JJB. 4 more points for City and Wigan will need 1.3 points per game average to catch us. That is likely to be too big a gap to bridge with the games left.

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