After 38 games last season, the leaders in League One (Doncaster Rovers) had 69 points. What a difference this time.
Rotherham United, currently lying fourth, can reflect somewhat ruefully that the three points they took on Tuesday moved them onto 72 points from their 38 games.
That still leaves them seven points behind the team they beat, second-placed Brentford, who already have 79 points which is 12 points better than a year ago when they were also second.
So, with leaders Wolves romping away on 83 points and the top five the proverbial ‘mile’ ahead of the rest, it backs up the professionals’ view that it is a much harder division to get out of this time.
Defeat the other night for Brentford was only their second in 26 league games and their first away defeat since October 12. They are entitled to wonder why they aren’t within touching distance of promotion.
Rotherham, now unbeaten in 14, look like having to take the Play-off route unless they manage a storming finish and others collapse. It’s going to be a pretty high near-miss figure for the team which finishes third.
Brentford looked an accomplished side the other night but no one inside a raucous New York Stadium was inclined to disagree with their manager Mark Warburton when he said: “We were beaten by the better team; and we lost some of our one-to-one battles.”
For Rotherham United it was their most complete team performance in many a long year. The game plan worked to perfection. Their work ethic was phenomenal.
“We played well but just as important was that we worked extremely hard and if we work as hard as we have done in the last two games then we’ll be ok,” said boss Steve Evans in rather understated fashion.
But it wasn’t overstating anything either to say Brentford - “they arrived a top class side and leave a top class side,” added Evans” - were fortunate the final margin wasn’t five or six.
Evans is looking at adding a signing to his squad with the transfer deadline at 5pm today.
Bristol City - the division’s most improved side - arrive on Saturday on the back of a 5-0 drubbing they handed out to Port Vale.