Garry Birtles: Nottingham Forest should not fear anybody
YOU can analyse the fixtures, you can scrutinise the form book and you can talk about required points targets until the sun goes down.
But the most important factor – perhaps the only truly vital one - at Nottingham Forest is that, when they run out onto the green stuff, they continue to fear nobody.
People will say that Billy Davies' side face their toughest challenges yet in their next two games, when they face promotion rivals Hull City and Brighton.
But it doesn't matter one bit. Forest should not concern themselves with that.
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What they need to focus on is exactly what has taken them to five consecutive wins – and that is the simple belief that, if they can play to the best of their ability, they have the quality to beat anyone in the division.
If they perform at anything close to 100 per cent of what they are capable of against the Tigers on Saturday, they will notch up a sixth straight win.
Then, when Brighton visit the City Ground after the international break, they must do exactly the same thing.
They deserve huge credit for edging close to the club record number of consecutive wins. If they do beat Hull and Brighton, they will equal a record that has stood since 1922.
And that momentum can carry them to where they want to be this season. But it would also not be lost if they drew a game or, even if they did slip up.
What the manager has instilled in them is a fresh level of self-belief; an attitude that says 'we are Nottingham Forest and you can worry about us'.
If they do get beaten, they must not lose that spirit, they must not think that the world has ended, if they do not break that record.
Quite honestly, with the way they are going, they can do it. They can continue their winning streak whoever they come up against.
But what matters is not breaking records or earning a place in the history books, but securing a place in the top six.
And they should set their sights even higher than that. They should be aiming for second place in the table; for automatic promotion.
Yes, it is unlikely. It is a huge ask for them to close the gap and steal into the top two. But it is not impossible. With the way other sides are slipping up, there is room for a team with momentum to sneak up on the rails.
But, for me, it is the attitude that is most important.
If you believe that you have a chance of securing automatic promotion, if you strive for that with everything you have – then you have a better chance of finishing in the top six.
Yes, Forest would be happy if they finish in sixth place, on goal difference, by claiming the right result against Leicester on the final day.
But there is something to be said about how you go into the play-offs, as well as merely getting there in the first place.
Look at Blackpool when they were promoted. They had to go on an incredible charge to snatch that final place – and their momentum carried them all the way into the Premier League.
Swansea went into the play-offs on the back of three straight wins when they beat Forest in the semi-final, before surging past Reading at Wembley.
In the dressing room, Forest's players will feel they are invincible at the minute. I am not talking about them being cocky or having misplaced confidence. Billy will have them organised and prepared as well.
But they have that belief that, if they play to their best, they will beat anyone. To me, it does not really matter who they play between now and the end of the campaign. Nor does it matter if they don't win every single game.
What matters is that they maintain that momentum and that belief. That is what has reignited their season under Davies; that is what has edged them back into the promotion reckoning.
And, if they are to succeed, that will be a big part of making it happen.