What history tells us about Sheffield Wednesday's promotion chances after 10 matches
There’s a saying about lies, damned lies and statistics.
But they’re becoming an increasingly central to the way things are done in football and in terms of a hark back to historical statistics, they can offer an balanced indication of where a club is at during a season.
It’s still early days in the League One table but some Wednesday supporters are already getting itchy as to the Owls’ promotion aspirations after a run of one win in six matches saw them tumble from the top of the division into midtable.
A win at home to seventh-placed Bolton Wanderers on Saturday would see Wednesday – have a tally of 15 points from their 10 matches so far – move to within a point of the playoff places. A defeat, of course, would set them further back.
A look back at the last decade in League One suggests there is no major reason for panic as long as the Owls get themselves back on track in the coming weeks.
One in four sides to have achieved automatic promotion from League One in the last 10 years have done so from the same points or less than Wednesday have accrued over the first 10 matches of this season.
Indeed, Bournemouth were promoted as runners-up in the 2012/13 season with only eight points after 10 games.
And when you include promotion through the playoffs, one in three sides that went on to go up were no better off than Wednesday at this stage of the season.
The average points tally for clubs to have been promoted in that time is 17.43 after 10 matches.
The numbers suggest that while Wednesday would certainly like to be sitting on a tally above that figure, recent history suggests their early season issues have not put promotion too far out of reach.
Speaking last month, Owls boss Darren Moore maintained he will be unconcerned by the state of the table for several weeks.
“There is another international break next month which will disrupt the programme,” said Moore. “You are going to get disruptions over the next two or three months.
“For me, you have to give it a couple of months for the league to settle down. There are a lot of teams still trying to find their rhythm and consistency.”