Mark Robins is under no illusions about the task faced by his Coventry City side.
After managing just eight points from their opening 11 Championship games the Sky Blues boss knows there must be a vast improvement between now and the midway point to the campaign.
City have nine games in the run up to Boxing Day, starting with the St Andrew’s derby with landlords Birmingham City a week on Friday.
“The nine games we have between now and the New Year are huge,” Robins told CoventryLive.
“That takes us up to 20 games. We have got to be around about a point a game at the turn of the league, so we have to try to be up there.
“If we can do that then fine. If not then we have got a second half of the season where we have really got to go at it.
“But we will get better anyway. I know that and you can see that we’re getting better gradually.”
Reflecting on a bitter/sweet performance at Watford where City battled back from a goal down to take the lead at Vicarage Road, only to end up losing the game to another late penalty, he said: “It’s just so difficult when you are conceding rubbish goals and yet working really hard and playing some brilliant stuff, which is expansive and great to watch.
“But then you give the ball away in areas they can hurt you.
“You look at Ismaila Sarr. They turned down £50m quid for him. He’s an outstanding player with pace. He’s like Usain Bolt so it’s just a major, major disappointment because we should be talking about a really good performance at Watford.
“And it was, if you take out the three goals we conceded. It’s really difficult.”
He added: “We’re a smidgen away and that’s the positive. When people are looking at it and saying it’s not good enough, it’s not right, we are not good enough in certain aspects of the game.
“They are going to be good enough and will get better and we have just got to work towards that.”