Luke Freeman believes two or three more wins would do it. Chris Hughton feels it would be wrong to set a target.
But just how close are Nottingham Forest to making sure of Championship safety?
They are certainly not there yet.
The Reds are 16th on 40 points, with an eight-point cushion to the bottom three heading into the final 12 games of the campaign.
With a fair few teams between them and the relegation zone, they look to have a bit of breathing space.
Such is the unpredictable nature of the division and the congested state of the table, however, nothing is guaranteed at the moment.
Forest have been on a good run. Some fans had dared to look up, rather than over the Reds’ shoulders.
But Tuesday night’s defeat at home to Luton Town should serve as a timely warning and a wake-up call.
As Hughton frequently points out, suffer the odd bad week and you can quickly get dragged back into trouble – particularly if other teams pick up points. Facing a run of games against sides fighting for promotion, starting with Watford tomorrow lunchtime, Forest will be well aware of that.
They need to avoid their midweek loss turning into a slump.
“That’s the prerogative of players to think that way,” Hughton said with a wry smile when asked about Freeman’s prediction for just a few more wins being needed.
“My job is to try to galvanise the players for every game and, from now until the end of the season, try to get as many points as we can.
“We’ve turned some fortunes around by performances and points, but the moment you start thinking of a tally, you can take your eye off the ball a little bit.
“We still need to focus on getting as many points as possible
“Taking the Luton result out of it, I think the facts are we have improved as a team and the table shows that.
“But the table also shows that if you were to go on a bad run, everybody is still fighting. There’s a lot of points still up for grabs.”
Freeman too, was at pains to make clear, even with a few more victories, there would be no letting up.
“Logically, we’re not nearly there, but you know two or three more wins would probably get you over the line,” said the 28-year-old.
Sign up to our Forest newsletter for all the latest transfer news
Why should you sign up?
Transfer deadline day is almost here again and we’ll have all the latest news and rumours in the build-up as the Reds continue the dramatic rebuild of their squad before Monday’s 11pm cut off point.
In our daily Nottingham Forest bulletin, we’ll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit sign up.
And that’s it, you’re all set. You can also sign up here.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
“But nothing is guaranteed in this league, so we’re not looking at it going, ‘once we get two or three wins, that’s us done’.
“We’re just taking it game by game and trying to get as many points as we can; see where it takes us.”
Forest’s final 12 games are:
Saturday, March 6 – Watford (A)
Saturday, March 13 – Reading (H)
Wednesday, March 17 – Norwich City (H)
Saturday, March 20 – Brentford (A)
Friday, April 2 – Cardiff City (A)
Monday, April 5 – QPR (H)
Saturday, April 10 – Bristol City (A)
Saturday, April 17 – Huddersfield Town (H)
Tuesday, April 20 – Birmingham City (A)
Saturday, April 24 – Stoke City (H)
Saturday, May 1 – Sheffield Wednesday (A)
Saturday, May 8 – Preston North End (H)
In every one of the past 10 seasons, teams have needed more than 40 points to stay up. In two of those campaigns, a team with more than 50 points actually went down.
Here’s a look at who just survived and who finished third-bottom – and their points totals – in the last 10 years:
2019/20 – Barnsley finished just above the relegation zone with 49 points, Charlton were relegated with 48;
2018/19 – Millwall survived with 44 points, Rotherham went down with 40;
2017/18 – Bolton stayed up on 43 points, Barnsley dropped with 41;
2016/17 – the year Forest scraped survival by the skin of their teeth, staying up on goal difference with 51 points, Blackburn had a worse goal difference and went down;
2015/16 – Rotherham’s 49 points kept them up, Charlton were well adrift on 40 points;
2014/15 – Rotherham were just above the drop zone with 46 points, Millwall’s 41 proved insufficient;
Our Nottingham Forest correspondent: Sarah Clapson
NottinghamshireLive’s dedicated Reds reporter Sarah Clapson wants to hear from you, the fans.
Have you got a Forest story to tell? Do you want to get something off your chest about a recent performance?
Or have you got any brilliant match day videos or photographs you’d like to share? Well, you’re in the right place.
Sarah says: “I want to hear from the Reds fan base, who pay hard-earned money to follow the club, giving supporters a voice about all things Forest. Whether it’s a talking point from a game or an incident or issue not being dealt with, get in touch.”
You can get in touch with Sarah via the following channels:
Our Forest Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Nottinghamforestnews
What’s App: What you need to know to get involved
For your latest Forest news sign up to our newsletter with your email in the box at the top of the page – or click here.
2013/14 – Goal difference again proved crucial as Birmingham stayed up, but Doncaster Rovers went down with the same 44-point total;
2012/13 – Barnsley dodged the drop on 55 points, ahead of Peterborough’s 54;
2011/12 – The Tykes survived with 48 points, Portsmouth dropped on 40;
2010/11 – Doncaster’s 48-point tally kept them up, Preston went down on 42.
Freeman’s theory of two or three more wins being needed therefore seems a reasonable guide.
But that could still make it a close-run thing. The Reds know from their own experience that even the fabled 50-point mark doesn’t always cut it.
Forest do have a decent cushion at the moment, however. They need to make sure it stays that way.
Click here to read this post on the originating website.