Doncaster Rovers, a side that has won three games in their last 21, now must win their last three matches of a torrid season to give themselves any realistic hope of avoiding the drop to League Two.
On those grounds the chances of a great escape now seem incredibly slim.
And yet over the last week Darren Ferguson’s side has reduced the gap between themselves and safety from eight points to five with an excellent win over league leaders Wigan Athletic and one point at Chesterfield on Tuesday night that really ought to have been three.
If they can repeat that feat over the next two games, and cut that deficit by another three points, then anything could happen on May 8. Rovers know all too well about final-day dramas.
There was a very distinct feeling around the post-match press duties at the Proact that Rovers had left themselves too much to do.
But that disappointment and frustration can’t afford to be taken onto the pitch on Saturday against a Coventry City side with the slimmest of slim chances of reaching the top six - because come full time, if results go their way, Rovers could find themselves two points short of safety with two to play.
What promises to be a nerve-jangling day is further complicated by the fact that two of the three teams that Doncaster can realistically still leapfrog, Fleetwood and Blackpool, play each other. Only those teams’ results in their other remaining fixtures will determine, in hindsight, what is the best possible outcome for Rovers at Highbury.
A keen eye must also be kept on Shrewsbury Town who, without a win in seven, seem to dropping at just the wrong time as far as they are concerned. They go to Gillingham tomorrow.
Ferguson’s men, though, must focus on what they can control, and if they can produce the sort of perfomance that did for Wigan at the Keepmoat last weekend then there is every chance they can take this scrap right down to the wire.