Just over a fortnight ago Birmingham & Solihull were only a single bonus-point win from safety and riding the crest of the wave which had swelled with their superb victory over Bristol.

Match-winning lock Dan Sanderson was making light of the absence of Semisi Taulava, Jack Preece was dominating the war on the floor and Mark Woodrow was making anything look possible – even a rare win over Bedford in their next match.

Admittedly they were still at the foot of the table but they could draw comfort from their surroundings, as their bottom-four rivals lurched from one disaster to the next.

Two short weeks later, however, the world has a very different view. Where they were once peering over other clubs’ shoulders, those shoulders and backs are now disappearing over the horizon and eighth place must feel as distant as Dubai, where their director of rugby and two important players are soon heading.

But Russell Earnshaw’s squad must not lose heart. As I wrote last week, on their day Bees remain one of the most exhilarating attacking outfits in the Championship, they just need those days to occur more frequently, or last longer.

What they kept up for half-an-hour against Bedford lasted only 23 minutes at Nottingham and suddenly, after Bristol’s improvement, Bees find themselves still with 11 points but 12 from escaping Pool C.

However, if there is a club that can turn it around, it is one that has been to the edge and clawed its way back. Earnshaw this week restated his belief that a top-eight finish is still possible.

To do that he estimated Bees need at least another six wins, possibly seven, from their final ten regular-season games. In short, they need to end their relegation results and suddenly find promotion form.

Improbable? Maybe. Impossible? Certainly not. Bees head into the mud-wrestling season in considerably better shape than they were last season, with a scrum and pack of forwards that can go toe-to-toe with anyone.

Woodrow is more consistent than Ben Patston and – as long as they put in their tackles – the deteriorating conditions reduce the need for their struggling centres to become game-breakers.

The fixture list offers hope too. Bees meet the bottom seven teams knowing success could bring about the Greatest Escape, one no-one in rugby could begrudge.