But one thing numbers don’t do is account for momentum and how a team finishes a season, take Sam Allardyce and West Bromwich Albion for example. Sadly for the Baggies, the latest Premier League betting as far as relegation goes shows that Allardyce’s men will in all likelihood be playing in the Championship next season. Big Sam has managed just 0.86 points during his time at the Hawthorns which was never going to be enough to keep Albion in the division after he was appointed in mid-December.

But Allardyce’s underwhelming points tally doesn’t show that the Baggies are finishing the season with a great deal of momentum. This comes after beating Chelsea and Southampton and drawing with Manchester United and Aston Villa. If anything, the Baggies are finding a second wind that admittedly, won’t stop them from being relegated, but will set them up to hit the ground running in the Championship next season. Indeed, regardless of how disappointing a season has been, finishing the campaign with genuine impetus lifts everyone at the club.

The reverse side of that equation is ending a season in a tailspin, which can have the opposite effect. Indeed, the mood around Glanford Park is a sombre one despite the Iron finally confirming their League Two status for the 2021/2022 season by earning a point against Bradford at Valley Parade. That solitary point was enough to halt a run of five successive defeats. But there is very little cause for celebration in North Lincolnshire either, given that it’s coming up to six weeks since Scunthorpe last won a game of football.

This is the epitome of free-fall and, in reality, the only thing that is going to stop this run of horrendous form is the season finishing. The obvious concern will be what happens when it picks up again in late summer, will the Iron have found out how to win again? It seems unlikely when you consider that no team in the division has lost more times than Scunthorpe, who have tasted defeat 23 different times this season, but hope springs eternal as they say.

In many ways, Neil Cox’s 0.96 points after 50 games in charge at Glanford Park is similar to that of Allardyce’s at the Hawthorns. In fact, Cox’s record is slightly better than Big Sam’s 0.86, but there is a noticeable difference in the expected direction of travel for both clubs next season,
Yes, judging a manager on just points alone isn’t always fair. One needs to take into account any mitigating circumstances and signs of improvement before coming to a final conclusion.For Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox, the uncomfortable truth is that there is little in the way of supporting evidence as to why he should be given a second term at Glanford Park.