ounty are exactly where they want to be right now. They're in the top seven, three points clear of eighth with a game in hand which, with a victory in that, puts them in the automatic promotion places. From this position, they are well-placed to kick on and achieve what Tranmere prevented them from doing in May. This is similar to last season, where at the same point in the campaign, they sat 4th with a four-point buffer over the play-off dotted line.
Many fans are still disappointed, however, given the more pragmatic style of football that Mike Flynn seems to have installed in his players this time around. Only three teams have scored fewer league goals to date, and these are all placed in the bottom four of the table. But Forest Green are the only side to have conceded fewer than Flynn's men and it is this solidity which has contributed to the Exiles' current position and positive goal difference (+5 in comparison to -3 entering November 2018).
Given comparable good starts though, we must remain cautious and remember that County had to go on a long unbeaten run to get into the final play-off position last season - ultimately only confirming their place three minutes from time at Morecambe.
That was largely as a result of a poor run of form over the Christmas period, where cup commitments almost seemed to take precedence. The brilliant win over Leicester City and the subsequent strong showing against Manchester City was on the back of a tough replay win over Wrexham amidst the already-busy fixture schedule, in which County's win rate was barely one in three.
It will be indicative of Flynn's thinking as to whether the aim for this season is to achieve promotion or to fight on all fronts again. County have diffcult trips to Grimsby, Bradford City and Exeter City before the curtain falls on 2019, as well as an additional trip to South Humberside for Round One of the FA Cup and the potential for a replay and second-round tie on top.
It could be that, while the Cup has been a big money-earner for the club in recent seasons, Flynn has to foresake it this season to avoid stretching the squad too thin and ruining what could be the club's best chance of getting up into League One.
But put simply, they have to be better in this stretch than they were last year. Their play was flat last winter; chances began to dry up and they almost completely played themselves out of the play-off picture, dropping to 15th at one point before their near-miraculous revival. And It can be argued that the top end of the table is broadly stronger than last campaign and remaining in the mix will be a much bigger task for the boys.
Ultimately, having the entire first half of the season being directly comparible to last could be the very thing that sees County played out of contention and achieve exactly the same as 18/19 - essentially nothing.