The good news is that, if Forest gain no more than four points in the run-in, Charlton just need to win their last five games to be safe from relegation. Even better news is that, if Forest lose all their remaining games, we only need to win four. This is of course assuming that MK Dons are not going to stage a last minute revival as well.
Our winning run will begin on Saturday when we entertain Derby County. After their spectacular collapse at the end of last season under Steve McLaren The Rams appointed Paul Clement to guide them to promotion this year. They were top of The Championship at Christmas but it all began to go wrong in the new year and, after a seven game winless run, Clement was sacked in early February. Darren Wassall (advised by Harry Redknapp) has had some success in reviving their fortunes, although this has mostly been in their home form where they have won their last six games with an aggregate of 14-1. They have only won away from home once in their last nine outings and that was at Brentford where, as we know, winning is easy. They are now pretty safely in the play-off positions and must fancy their chances even though they are not good enough for automatic promotion.
Derby have such strength in attack that Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann are usually confined to the bench. Their main strike force of Chris Martin (15), Tom Ince (11) and Nick Blackman (11) have scored as many goals this season as the entire Charlton team and there are useful contributions from Jacob Butterfield (8) and Jonny Russell (7) to back this up. While we were scoring one goal in our trips to Ipswich and QPR last week, Derby rattled in eight at home to Hull and Bolton. The icing on the cake was the return to fitness of young star Will Hughes after a long term knee injury.
Nevertheless, Charlton's home form against promotion candidates Boro and Birmingham shows that we can rise to the occasion. The only slight worry is that Forest might spoil the party. They travel to top-form team Rotherham on Saturday and they will be anxiously looking over their shoulders as our great escape gathers pace. The gap could be down to four points by the time we have beaten Bolton next Tuesday and they have lost at home to Blackburn. Derby supporters won't mind losing on Saturday if Forest being relegated is the outcome.