Derby County were pole position to secure promotion to the Premier League after losing to QPR in last season’s play-off final - until a recent dip in form has seen them fall off the pace.
In fact, after dropping two points at home to ten man Watford on Friday, the Rams are in danger of not even making the play-offs this season.
The good news for the club, though, is that it is so tight near the summit of the Championship that the top eight clubs are separated by just seven points, with six games to go.
Derby must now turn their fortunes around quickly, and will be relying on January loan acquisition Tom Ince for some inspiration, hoping to leverage on his form since joining the club.
Ince has been a revelation since arriving from Hull City, and has popped up with some extremely important goals, including one in the draw with the Hornets.
The son of former Manchester United midfielder Paul is already Derby’s second top scorer of the league campaign, having scored seven times in three months.
Ince has outshone fellow loanee Jesse Lingard and has carried the Rams at times. He is an individual with the ability to carve open a defence at any opportunity. The 22-year-old is capable of the unpredictable, and can score from any range. He must surely get the chance to play regular Premier League football sooner rather than later.
In fact, Hull could do with him right now as they fight for their own Premier League survival.