IT remains the highest points tally for any relegated team.

Fifty is traditionally viewed as the safety mark – but 54 was not enough to rescue Peterborough’s Championship chances six years ago.

As Gary Bowyer talks about the prospect of City’s survival battle going all the way to the final game, Nathaniel Knight-Percival could be excused for giving a little shudder.

The club’s longest-serving player will remember the dramatic conclusion to his first season in league football in 2013.

Peterborough went into the last game above the drop zone and were still there going into the closing minutes at Crystal Palace with the score 2-2.

Knight-Percival came on as a late substitute for Posh – and had been on the pitch for barely a minute when Mile Jedinak bundled home Palace’s winner.

With relegation rivals Barnsley and Huddersfield playing keep ball in their draw, that Selhurst Park defeat proved fatal.

The way League One’s dogfight is currently shaping up, with anyone from mid-table downwards still nervous on the possible outcome, a similarly nerve-shredding finale could well be on the cards.

Knight-Percival speaks from bitter experience when he warned: “There are a lot of ups and downs on the final day and you don’t want to be going through it.

“We finished with a decent number of points but Barnsley and Huddersfield both stayed up instead.

“I didn’t know at the time but I was told later that they just kept the ball. It was gutting to find that out.

“Relegation stays with you, definitely. Even the season after, we got to the play-offs but didn’t manage to win promotion.

“We were fighting a battle to come back but it didn’t happen. Not wanting to go through that again spurs me on to fight for our place in the league.”

City are six points adrift of fifth-bottom Southend, with an inferior goal difference, after being dumped into the basement spot following resurgent Wimbledon’s third win on the bounce. But the fact there is so little breathing space between half the division – just three points separate the last relegation place with Plymouth in 12th – remains a cause for hope in the defender’s eyes.

“I have never known a relegation battle as extreme as this,” added Knight-Percival. “There can be quite a few teams involved but to have so many is a bit different.

“It can help us because having that many teams involved means a lot can be dragged in. It’s going to be a real rollercoaster and we just want to be above that line come the end of the season.”

City probably need to win at least half of the last eight games, starting with Blackpool at Valley Parade this afternoon.

That is almost promotion form – the sort of run they enjoyed on the way to the 2017 play-off final in Knight-Percival’s first campaign in West Yorkshire.

The only survivor from Wembley, he refuses to linger on the reasons for such a decline.

“What has happened has happened,” he said. “It is pointless commenting on where it may have gone wrong. No-one really knows that.

“The past will not have any effect on how we play against Blackpool. That is our main focus.

“The rest has to be left because, as players, it is nothing to do with us.

“Besides myself, I am sure there are others in the team who have been through relegation before. No-one wants to go through the same again.

“We are working as hard as we can to make sure it does not happen. We do not want to get relegated and have to fight to the very last whistle.”

There has been an improvement defensively since Bowyer came in. Of the three goals conceded in his three games, two were very late and in disputed circumstances.

Knight-Percival added: “We have a good structure to the team and a basis of how we are going to play. It has felt more of a team unit.

“At Oxford, the conditions were tough. The wind was coming over the end with no stand and that made things tricky.

“But we hung in and that is why it was so disappointing to lose a goal at the end.

“We know how to improve, though, and it won’t happen again.

“Bottom of the league is not a position we want to be in. But we are still within touching distance.

“We have to win the Blackpool game and work from there.”