Eight points and eight places separate Doncaster Rovers from League One’s relegation zone with only four games remaining for those in pursuit – yet manager Darren Ferguson is refusing to accept his side is safe.
Tuesday night’s point against Bury in a game they should have had won by half-time may have nudged Rovers up to 13th in the table, but even that does not offer Ferguson any sanctuary.
For Rovers have reached 54 points, a tally that has every right to haunt Ferguson.
Five years ago, he was manager of a Peterborough United side relegated from the Championship on that very number of points, a tally that would have seen his side safe in every other season in that division since its rebranding.
Little wonder then that when asked how high he was looking up the League One table in the remaining five games, his first thought was to look over his shoulder.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to make sure we stay in this division,” he said. “I can still see us having a strong finish to the season, but there’s no target other than to try and get as many points as we can.
“But we have progressed this season, I really do believe that.”
The overall picture may back that up. A point gained on Tuesday night made it six games unbeaten for Rovers, their longest positive sequence of the season.
They have also lost just three times in the last 19 games, but they really should have had another win in that number against already-relegated Bury, having raced into a 2-0 lead, only to then be thankful of rescuing a point after the Shakers turned the game on its head.
Ferguson added: “The boys got frustrated, the fans got frustrated. In the end we’re happy to get a point because we didn’t deserve to win the game.”
There is still a lot of work to be done to make sure we stay in this division,Darren Ferguson
“From the moment they scored we lost our discipline and after that we were all over the place. Their goal affected us a lot more than it should have done.
“When you go on the kind of run that we have there was expectation that we’d win the game against a side who had been relegated at the weekend, so it was a different test for us tonight and that’s the disappointing thing.”