Peterborough Lions need to win 10 of their 16 remaining games in National League Two North to survive at that level.
That’s the tall order facing the Bretton club according to chairman Andy Moore.
And even though they’ve managed to win just three of their 14 matches so far this season and end the year firmly rooted to the foot of the table, the Lions chief believes his side can complete ‘mission impossible’.
“We’ve found it tough, much tougher than expected, in our first season at this level but the one thing the Lions don’t do is give up. As long as it’s mathematically possible we’ll be in there fighting to survive,” said Moore.
“Luctonians went down with 53 points last season so we know there’s a lot to do in the second half of the season. I reckon we need to win 10 games to be safe.
“Some say that’s impossible but I’m not one of them. I honestly believe we can turn things round.
“We’ve never been hammered and we’ve been really unlucky to lose a handful of games. We’ve also been crippled by injuries.
“Now we’ve got players coming back from injury I reckon we can begin to put points on the board, starting with Saturday’s trip to Hinckley.”
Hinckley, who are currently third in the table, won 48-21 at Bretton back in September but Moore says they were gifted three tries during a ‘moment of madness’ in the second half.
He said: “We were actually winning by 10 points but then had a moment of madness. We had two players in the bin, two down injured and were all over the place.
“We lost concentration and they grabbed three quick tries while we were in disarray for a flattering win.
“This league is cruel - they say it’s the cruellest of all - and if you nod off for a few minutes or make a mistake, you get punished.
“Hinckley have lost to Sheffield and Macclesfield and they’re two teams we’ve beaten. So we know we’re capable of causing an upset.
“If we carry on where we left off against Sheffield, taking them on up front, we’ll be fine.”
The Lions beat Sheffield 28-27 with three late tries a fortnight ago and were hoping to keep the momentum going up at Tynedale in Northumberland last Saturday.
But that game was postponed due to bad weather and will now be played on February 23.
Full-back Ben Young and centre Suva Ma’asi would have missed that game through injury but both will be fit for Saturday’s short trip into Leicestershire.
And there’s further good news on the injury front.
Strong-running winger Kaz Henderson, who suffered a broken leg back in September, is training again as are second row Will Nankivel and winger Seva Bulamakau.
Army man Bulamakau, a Fijian who joined the club from the Doncaster Knights Academy, was injured on his debut against Hull Ionians in September and hasn’t played since.