Without needing to try too hard, we can place Sunderland vs Middlesbrough and a handful of other games between now and Saturday firmly in the context of Championship ups and downs.
If Boro had three more points than their current total of 51, they would be in the top six. The playoffs would once again seem attainable. And they would stay there provided neither Bristol City tonight (home to fifth-top Fulham) and Sheffield Utd on Friday (at Hull City) could do more than draw.
Now where would those three Boro points be most likely to come from? Surely we are not thinking of Fortress Stadium of Light where proud, committed men of the calibre of Jack Rodwell ply their trade.