Be honest, you’ve visited at least one of the many predictor websites and played out every league encounter until the end of the season involving Town, Newcastle and Brighton.
We all do it, don’t we? Or is it me disclosing one of my guilty pleasures?
These websites are seductive as you run a fast-forward in your mind of each match, maybe imagining a late winner from Nahki Wells at home to Newcastle United on Saturday or a late winner from Nottingham Forest to beat Brighton & Hove Albion on the same day.
Here’s a statistic for you to hold in your mind:-
Over the last 10 seasons, for a team to finish second and thereby gain automatic promotion to the Premiership, they have needed an average of 86 points.
Town currently have 65 points from 33 matches so, if averages mean anything, they need just 21 points from the last 13 matches (that’s only mid-table form) to secure the prize.
Seven wins - that’s all.
But sadly averages only prove one thing – as the saying goes, ‘there are lies, damned lies and statistics’! Look more closely at the last couple of seasons:-
2014-15: Norwich City totalled 86 points and finished third.
2015-16: Brighton & Hove Albion achieved 89 points and finished third.
And I fear 2016-17 is going to be another season that defies the law of averages. I’ve tried just about every reasonable combination imaginable on these predictor sites; I can even get Town to the dizzy heights of 92 points and still not be in the top two come the end of the season!
So don’t be seduced by hearing David Wagner talking about “focusing only on ourselves”, or “making lots of good moments” or “it’s about our decisions being the right decisions”.
I’m afraid it’s not.
Town can have lots of “good moments” and “make many right decisions” but the truth is that we’re looking at teams like Rotherham United to take points off Brighton or Burton Albion to spring a surprise against Newcastle.
Without “good moments” and “right decisions” from the likes of Rotherham, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, teams all fighting for Championship survival, we’re going to need to gird our loins, prepare for heart palpitations and anxiety attacks, function on disturbed sleep patterns for weeks, because, despite the law of averages, Town are heading for the dreaded play-offs.
I remain hopeful that, like recent political opinion polls, this is one prophecy the predictive sites have got wrong and the law of averages prevails; because if so, you can be sure that Town will achieve at least 86 points and we can all relax and look forward to Premiership football next season.
Simon Thackray is Huddersfield born and bred but has been exiled to the south of England since 1975.
A solicitor by profession, now CEO of Law South Group Ltd, Simon's first game was back on August 22 1964 against Bolton Wanderers as a 10-year-old in a game which finished 1-1.