No accolades are handed out in December, but Nottingham Forest are threatening to follow a script that could land them the most sought-after of prizes.
Returning to the Premier League has been an elusive target for the Reds for longer than many of us care to remember.
We were told once more on the back of elaborate recruitment drive over the summer that it was okay for us to dare to dream.
After so many false dawns, there are plenty who will have erred on the side of caution.
Forest, after all, have a rich history of doing the exact opposite of what is expected from them.
Upset the odds
Under Brian Clough, a ragtag bunch that included no obvious superstars upset the odds and the establishment to land the club’s only top-flight title to date.
We then went to Europe and won the cup twice.
Script… window… gone.
Forest have also, on more than one occasion, been branded ‘too good to go down’, only to then go and do precisely that.
Script… window… gone.
There have then been bold proclamations of five-year plans, the return of a living legend to the City Ground as manager and several big-money additions.
What have we had to show for it? Script… win… you get the point!
The tide may, however, be turning on the banks of the Trent.
Whisper it quietly, but the Reds’ class of 2018/19 are looking like a side capable of delivering on the hope and expectation which is building behind them.
Results in the current calendar month offer a timely example of how Aitor Karanka’s side are becoming very un-Forest and almost predictable.
Few could have imagined that a 5-5 draw would be played out at Aston Villa, but the general consensus before a ball was kicked suggested that a point would be a good result – and that’s exactly what we got.
Either side of that remarkable evening in the West Midlands, Forest took in meetings with struggling Championship opponents that were expected to be swatted aside with the minimum of fuss.
These are the kind of games which have proved a serious thorn in the Reds’ side in the past, with supposed bankers often proving to be anything but.
Six points, four goals and two clean sheets have been collected, though, from thoroughly professional showings against Hull City and Ipswich.
There are, of course, bigger challenges to come – with the festive/New Year period looking particularly testing – but there is another very winnable game to come at home to Preston on Saturday and the chance to cement a standing inside the promotion-chasing pack.
The script is being followed; we just need somebody to make sure that window stays shut!