Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson admits the club's involvement in a relegation battle is a complete shock.
Gibson had hoped the Teessider's had turned a corner after their fight back towards the end of last season, setting expectations of a vast improvement this term.
However, Boro find themselves in the thick end of a relegation dog fight - four points from safety with just eight games remaining.
Investing heavily pre-season on players such as Justin Hoyte, Didier Digard and Marvin Emnes, expectations for a top-10 finish would have seemed perfectly reasonable.
But, with only a handful of games left to play, the chairman is coming to terms with a much harsher reality.
Reality"Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I would think the way we finished last season, everybody would have thought we were heading in the right direction," Gibson told the Evening Gazette.
"We made changes to the squad during the summer and made one or two very good signings, and we were confident that we could move forward.
"I for one did not think we would be in a relegation dog fight. But that is the reality of the situation."
Having won only one of their last 18 league games, Boro have mustered a mere 10 points from a possible 54.
Gareth Southgate's side will travel to Bolton next weekend in the hope of securing a crucial three points before coming up against Hull and Fulham at the Riverside Stadium.
FocusDespite admitting the club must determine the reason for their lowly status, Gibson insisted all focus until the end of the season must be on Premier League survival.
"One win in 18 is not good enough," he added.
"But there is a time for investigating what has happened, and it is not now.
"Investigating what has gone wrong in the past will not keep us in the league.
"We have to focus on the challenge ahead, and then the time for analysis will come in the summer."
He added: "As a town, nobody wants this. As a football club, we don't want it.
"But we have to trust these players to give us their best in the last eight games.
"Until fate has decided what is going to happen, we have to keep fighting, and I am confident that we will."