We can wish for a remarkable change in our results during the next four months and an unlikely survival in the Championship which would save Phil Parkinson's managerial reputation. You have to think that begins with some highly successful January transfers to kick-start the revival. A midfield dynamo and a goal-scoring striker are the minimum requirements but we simply don't have the money available. It looks like we'll have to sell first, so I suspect any dealings we do make will be back-ended and we will fall further behind before anyone's established.
So looking ahead, we will get an opportunity again in the final stages to reintroduce the youth. Remember the Coventry game at the end of last season anyone? Some genuine hope. The close season should see another exodus as those on bigger wages are allowed to leave and one or two of the more able players are handed lifebelts by other Championship clubs. I can't see Mark Hudson playing in tier three and Lloyd Sam and one or two others might play their way out of it by the end of the season.
We might be able to attack League One and at least win the majority of home games next season. Season tickets will be cheaper and the choice of seating available will improve significantly - no need for Swop Day. We should lose some of the more excitable fans we've acquired in recent years and those who joined for the Premier League rush and have been visibly and audibly struggling to cope with life outside. Don't get me wrong - I'd rather we had 20,000 again next year even with all the moaners but we simply won't in League One.
What we can be confident about is that the good times will return eventually. We simply have too much history and too many supporters who care pasionately about the club for that not to happen. Happy New Year!