League Insider - Plymouth
Chris Burton pays tribute to Plymouth's never-say-die attitude following their recent troubles.
Last Updated: 14/03/11 1:59pm
Let's not beat around the bush here, the outlook at Plymouth is bleak, with administration and a 10-point penalty doing the club few favours.
Unless a buyer can be found, and quickly, there is a very real threat that the Pilgrims could go to the wall.
They are made of stern stuff on the South Coast, though, with the plight of Portsmouth having proved to one and all that nothing can ever be taken for granted.
Plymouth are cut from the same cloth, with the club having refused to let a couple of heavy blows to the solar plexus bring them to their knees.
Remarkably, taking into account the events of the last couple of weeks, the club actually appears to have pulled even closer together in the face of mounting adversity.
Last week it was revealed by the club's administrator, Brendan Guilfoyle of the P&A Partnership, that the staff at Home Park are going to have to work without pay for the foreseeable future.
Until investment is found, the coffers remain worryingly bare and all those connected with the club know things could get a whole lot worse before they get any better.
No-one at Plymouth has thrown their toys out of the pram, though, expressing their anger at a situation which sees them sweating on their jobs and unsure where their next pay packet is coming from.
Instead, they have knuckled down and done their utmost to make the best of a bad - to say the least - situation.
Since being docked 10 points, the club have secured back-to-back victories in League One, meaning they are now just four short of where they were a month or so ago.
They remain rooted to the foot of the table, having crashed to rock-bottom on the back of their points penalty, but they are by no means relegation certainties.
Victories over Colchester, who are pushing for promotion, and Sheffield Wednesday, who remain a big third tier scalp, have offered a glimmer of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation.
With 12 games of the season remaining, Plymouth sit six points adrift of safety.
Another two wins, coupled with results elsewhere working in their favour, and they could get their head back above water.
Surely over the course of a dozen games Peter Reid will fancy that his side can accumulate enough points to ensure that Plymouth give themselves a fighting chance of beating the drop.
Should the Pilgrims remain a third tier outfit in 2011/12, the confidence they will be able to take from having prevailed against all the odds could prove to the catalyst for greater things to come.
By then the club will also hope to have a new owner at the helm, with Guilfoyle revealing that he has already been contacted by a handful of interested parties.
All of a sudden things could turn around very quickly for Plymouth - and, taking into account how professionally they have gone about things of late, few would hold a second chance against them.
Robins are rocking
How times have changed for Swindon. Last season's League One play-off finalists have endured a spectacular fall from grace this term.
A run of no win in 12 has seen them tumble into the third tier drop zone and brought a premature end to the reign of Danny Wilson as manager.
It is easy to offer excuses as to why the Robins have started to unravel, with the club shorn of their two most potent attacking weapons.
They saw Billy Paynter head for Leeds as a free agent last summer, while the prolific Charlie Austin was offloaded to Burnley during the January transfer window.
Any side would struggle without their goals and it is now up to new boss Paul Hart to plug the leaks in Swindon's boat before they sink without a trace.
Home sweet home
Nottingham Forest saw their remarkable unbeaten record on home soil ended by Hull City on Saturday at the 36-game mark.
The Tigers are the first side to take three points off the Reds at the City Ground since Blackpool in September 2009.
Given what the Seasiders achieved that season, Nigel Pearson will be hoping that a productive day on Trentside proves to be a good omen.
As for Forest, they need to dust themselves down and focus on their pursuit of a top-two finish, with Billy Davies unlikely to want to go through the play-off lottery again this term.