How many points will be needed for Hartlepool United to make the National League play-offs this season?
Hartlepool United are well into their third season in the National League after being relegated from League Two at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Despite the club almost ceasing to exist just a couple of years ago, the ambition remains for Pools to make a return to the Football League sooner rather than later.
They are currently sitting in 12th in the National League and have only won once in their last five games, but they sit five points off the play-offs, albeit with many teams around them having games in hand.
So how many points are needed to make the play-offs historically and what do Hartlepool need to do between now and the end of the season to make it there?
When the play-offs were introduced to the National League in the 2002-03 season, only teams finishing in second to fifth participated.
But this was changed in 2017-18 when they introduced the quarter finals, meaning that teams finishing sixth and seventh now take part.
Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, the average number of points required to make the play-offs were 80, but since 2017-18, it has dropped to 73.
The season before last, AFC Fylde finished seventh with 73 points and last season Eastleigh finished there with 74 points.
Neither of those teams were promoted, and the average points total required to go up via the play-offs is 85 points.
At the moment Pools obviously aren’t on track to make the play-offs, they are in fact on track to finish 11th (based on last season’s table) with 61 points.
With 16 games left, Dave Challinor’s side either need to win 11 of their next 16 games or draw four and win 10, neither of which is looking likely based on their current form.
With games to come against second placed Yeovil Town, eighth placed Stockport County and 11th placed Barnet who are all currently above Pools in the table, that much needed run of wins is currently looking unlikely.
Still, it’s by no means impossible as Challinor looks to combat the squad’s injury issues and get back to winning ways at Huish Park this Saturday.