Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce continues to insist that he is "quietly confident" that he can stave off the drop in the Premier League in good time before the run-in begins.
With a dozen games left Newcastle have 26 points in the bag and are two BETTER off than they were in the last season in which they were relegated from the top-flight, and bizarrely they have a bigger tally than two of the last three seasons at this point.
United went down on 37 points in 2015/16 under Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez and were relegated on 34 points under Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Chris Hughton and then Alan Shearer all in the same campaign.
The lowest points tally Newcastle have stayed up on is 39 points under Alan Pardew and then John Carver in 2014/15 when they finished 15th and four points above the drop zone, sending Hull City down on the final day and leapfrogging Aston Villa and Sunderland after a 2-0 win over West Ham.
During this season of discontent though, it is a surprising statistic to be in better shape than recent seasons and still gives Bruce a platform to secure safety with a few games to spare.
Considering the Magpies have dropped a whopping 36 points since mid-December it is a surprise they are where they are points-wise, and arguably on course for safety if history is anything to go off.
Yet they shouldn't get too comfortable...
Somewhat notably, the much-maligned Magpies were sitting in a better position than now on 28 points after 26 matches in the 2008/09 when they went down for the first time ever from the Premier League leaving plenty of scope for implosion.
Back then a major downturn in results under both Hughton then Shearer in the final eight games caused the problems before ending on 34 points.
In more recent times there is cause for optimism despite that awful run before and after Christmas.
At the same 26-game stage of the season, Newcastle also have one more point than Rafa Benitez's side in the 2017/18 season (when United finished 10th) and the 2018/19 campaign (when they ended term in 13th).
Just as they did last season, Newcastle picked up 44 points in total in 2017/18 and 45 points the season after meaning they need to get their skates on if they are to get anywhere near a respectable tally this season.
As mentioned earlier, their worst points tally to date in the Premier League during a campaign in which they still stayed up was 39, which Bruce would probably take right now.
Yet Bruce's own season on season record after 26 games indicates a decline with Newcastle five points worse off than they were after 26 matches last term.
At this point last season Newcastle had just been thumped 4-0 at Arsenal but they were on 31 points and sitting seven points above the dropzone in 13th place with 12 matches to go.
Newcastle were within swinging distance of safety just before the lockdown after the 1-0 win at Southampton in early March.
Bruce told his squad and staff privately that he felt that 35 points would be enough to stay up after that narrow win (their last played in front of supporters) but insisted he wanted to beat the previous season's tally of 45 points, which they fell short of with just 44.
As it turned out, 35 points would have been enough as AFC Bournemouth, who took the final relegation slot, ended with 34.
Even with just 12 games to go, there is no clear indication as to what it will take to be safe this year, although Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson feels it will be 38 this year.
United would need four more victories from their last 12 games while the Cottagers would require five wins.
Although, Brighton, Burnley, Southampton and even Palace themselves are still considered to be in trouble.
Despite the negativity and the stormy Press conferences of late, it's still in Newcastle's hands.
Of course, they should be striving for much more but loftier ambitions has always been the bigger argument at St James' Park.