If Phil Parkinson wants an ally in his warning that a seven-point gap can be breached, he need only ask Walsall boss Dean Smith.

The same distance currently separates City from the bottom four and the Saddlers from the top six.

Parkinson has told his team not to start believing they are comfortable – and Smith has not given up hope of sneaking into the last play-off spot. Smith said: “We still believe, definitely. Every week the league table changes.

“The gap could be five points by the time we get to next weekend. It is changing all the time.

“We have a tough game at Bradford coming up now and we will focus on that. We have to keep working hard and continue to believe.” Walsall have not won in ten games since January 25 but have drawn the last three, including Saturday against third-placed Leyton Orient.

Centre half Paul Downing scored at both ends as the Saddlers failed to take their chances – but they are the lowest scorers in the top ten by a long way.