As we now move towards the final stretch of the season, facing the three games that will (fairly or not) see our season defined as either a success or a failure; amidst all of the the permutations, predictions and looking ahead it is worth just taking a step back.
At the outset of the 2009/10 season, if, after 35 games, how many expected us to be sat in fifth place with our fate in our hands by virtue of winning the final three games of the season (let alone the possibility of drawing against Aston Villa and West Ham and still making fourth) to qualify for the Champions League?
So how likely is it that we can actually achieve the required nine points from two home games against our two rivals for fourth before a final day trip to Upton Park to ensure Champions League qualification?
In this post I looked at how over the course of the season we hadn't proved particularly successful of stringing three game winning streaks together.
However, if you take our home form in isolation things do look very positive in terms of us being able to put together a pair of victories over the five day span coming up.
We began the season with a run of four wins before the 2-2 draw against Fulham signalled a run of three draws, only to then go on a six game tear which only ended with the 0-0 draw against Liverpool. That was followed up with the Everton defeat before we returned to winning ways against Birmingham before dropping the derby to United.
So although we have dropped points at periods throughout the season, we have also proved very capable of putting together consecutive wins. Of course, results elsewhere may mean nine points is not required but the one factor we have in our favour is that by winning our remaining fixtures means that no other side can catch us - and back to back wins at home would mean we will be virtually there.