TRANMERE ROVERS need three wins from their final eight games to secure a League One play-off spot.
That is the prediction of manager Ronnie Moore who believes that at least half of the division still have realistic hopes of finishing inside the top six places.
Rovers missed out on the chance to move back into the automatic promotion places on Tuesday night as they lost 2-0 at in-form Walsall.
The manager pulled no punches in his assessment of their performance and warned that many more lacklustre displays could see them waste a glorious chance.
Moore’s side are fifth in the table and have 63 points to their name with eight games left.
A trip to MK Dons awaits the Prenton Park side on Saturday afternoon and forms part of what Moore considers the toughest run-in of all play-off contenders.
Games with the current top two, Doncaster and Sheffield United, are part of that schedule as well as matches against sides scrapping to stay in the division.
“I think 72 points will be a play-off spot,” Moore said.
“There are a lot of these teams playing each other. That is our target but make sure we do our part. We’ve probably got the toughest games between now and the end of the season.
“We’ve still got Sheff U to play, Donny to play, MK to play, Bournemouth to play.
“So there are some massive games in there.
“But we’ve also got to play some teams who are fighting for their lives. But I like it that way, it is down to us then and we can’t blame anyone else. If you can win against the top teams then it opens up gaps for you.
“I don’t think there is anyone who has as many difficult games as we have.”
Moore believes teams as far down as Crawley in 12th position are in contention for the play-offs.
And the Rovers manager can see the race for the top six places going all the way down to the final weekend of the campaign on April 27.
“Right down to Crawley,” responded Moore when asked how many teams he felt were in with a play-off chance.
“They’ll think they have a chance with their games in hand. Anything can happen.
“I know Donny have had a little bit of luck recently but they have not managed to get too far away from teams in and around them.
“I think it could go all the way to the last game of the season to see who is going to get in the play-offs – and maybe automatic as well.
“It’s going to be that tight. That’s how close the teams are at this level.”