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Will 50 Points Avoid Relegation?

By: Richard Lord
Date: 21/03/2002

A win on Saturday against Wimbledon will give Grimsby Town 45 points from 41 games. That means a point will have to be achieved from the each of the five remaining games to reach the magic 50 points barrier.

But will 50 points really be enough this season? As history points out, if a team gets left behind (in this case Stockport) it takes more points to keep teams safe.

It has been a long time since a team last got relegated from Division One with 50 points or more, but this could be the season that breaks the record. Stockport have only won four games all season - and where they have failed, others have capitalised.

It's not often that teams right at the bottom go into games expecting to win, but when Grimsby played Stockport at the end of last month it was seen as a home banker and it turned out to be just that.

So teams at the bottom have been picking up points regularly. Not so long ago the Mariners were sitting in 23rd place with 28 points after being beaten 2-0 at Watford. Now Town have 42 points - more points than games played - and that is healthy.

Then again, Walsall had 32 points earlier this month and they now have 40. If the so-called 'struggling' teams carry on at this rate, 50 points won't guarantee safety.

It's been noticeable that over the past few seasons, teams who have failed to record many away victories always struggle in the bottom three. All three teams at the bottom of Division One at this moment in time have won one away game all season.

Over the years Grimsby have relied on their home form because away from Blundell Park, the Mariners usually record about three or four wins every season. However, for your home form to be good enough, at least 9 or 10 wins are needed.

It looks increasingly likely that whoever is to be relegated this season will be determined on the last day. That means Town might need to get a result at Millwall, but if they have won their last three home games by this point, it might just be enough.

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