Less than three weeks ago both Sunderland and Blackpool were on course to reach their desired destination with a minimum of fuss.
In Sunderland’s case, we have managed to deviate so far off course that we are running out of fuel after taking several wrong turns and are desperately trying to find a phone signal in the middle of a country road to get ourselves heading back in the right direction.
Three defeats and three draws from our last five games has put paid to our automatic promotion hopes and our most recent draw with Accrington Stanley has the fans feeling at rock bottom again.
Blackpool have lost their last two and have only collected two wins from their last six games, but at least remain in a play-off position following an impressive run of matches that saw them go unbeaten in 17 games.
Despite the poor form of both clubs, this is still a significant fixture for both Blackpool need a win to stave off the attention of both Portsmouth and Charlton, whereas Sunderland can ill afford to go seven games without a win.
Whether we finish sixth or third may appear to be of little importance, but as we’ve seen before, momentum can be very important in football.
Over the course of the season several clubs have staked a claim to be in the hunt for automatic promotion and fallen in and out of play-off contention.
At one stage it looked as though Doncaster were nailed on to finish in at least a play off position, but even before the departure of Darren Moore, they went on a bad run of form and have since fallen out of the picture all together.
We’ve seen Oxford go from relegation candidates to fifth in the league, if Sunderland can string a few results together at the right time, the season may not be the lost cause it appears to be right now.