As I wrote on 10th November, the acid test of Southampton, Blackpool, and Coventry is now upon us. At the time of writing, I saw it as Pardew's make or break point. A failure to take a minimum of six points from these three games would probably seal his fate. As it turned out, we didn't have to wait that long, but now the question is, what can Parkinson do in those same three games?, all of which, should realistically, be winnable.
We are now adrift in the bottom three, requiring a minimum of two favourable results to stand any chance of making it out of the dreaded relegation zone. Many times during this depressing run of ours, I have heard people say that "there are easily three teams poorer than us", and until the end of October that was true. Statistically we were the 11th best team in August, 19th in September, 20th in October, but hey guess what? Charlton Athletic are now the worst team in the division for November to date.
If we are still in the relegation zone after the acid test games, the next one up is the visit of Derby, and we will be exactly halfway through the season, so please, no more talk of "it's early days" and "plenty of time". We don't have time, and a change in our fortunes must begin now.
Don't forget, we still have the dreaded end of season slump to come yet!