Kevin Kilbane admits that he never envisaged a last-day relegation battle when Hull City were sat in third place at the end of October.
The 32-year-old was still at Wigan when the Tigers were flying high in their first top-flight season after taking 20 points from their opening nine fixtures.
But since the 3-0 win at West Brom, which propelled them into the top three, Phil Brown's men have won just twice to leave them a point above the drop zone.
The Tigers know that if they better the result of Newcastle - who travel to Aston Villa on Sunday - then they will stay up but Kilbane knows that if they are to stand any chance of survival they need to put their past achievements behind them.
"When you have that amount of points you don't feel like you'll be dragged into it but the league is very unforgiving," the Irishman, who joined the club in January, said.
"You don't want it to get to the position we've got into - I honestly didn't think it would - but now we are in the position you can't look back over what has happened.
"You've got to try to be focused on the job at hand. When you are in the Premier League playing against top-class teams you can have a bad run of games, I think everyone realises that.
"But we have been positive here. Training has been bright every day and the players have always been optimistic about staying up."