I KNOW we still have five games of the season to go – starting tonight with Chelsea at home – but attention will soon start turning to the end of year lists of the great and the good.

I was doing commentary for the club on Saturday and my colleague on the mic Phil Bird asked me about who my player of the year would be.

Now with most of these big decisions I look at a formula of achievement against expectation, a kind of simplified expected goals sum that Match of the Day does if you like.

And it probably won’t surprise many of you that Nick Pope is my choice.

Now Pope has been a rock since coming into the side so will probably top a lot of polls because of his performance alone.

What I think is even more impressive is his performance to expectation ratio.

Pope is a player who spent much of his first 18 months at the Turf only ever involved in League Cup matches and while he performed well in those, there can have been no expectation that he’d cut the mustard in the Premier League. Or certainly not as well as he has done.

But he has not only exceed expectations, he’s blown them completely out of the park, culminating in a richly-deserved England call-up last month.

I can’t think of a player who has made such an impact from such a starting point.

Incidentally, and this might surprise a few more than my choice of Pope this season, my player of the season last year was Stephen Ward.

His performance to expectation ratio was much higher than his colleagues and I mean that as no slight on his ability. Full backs just don’t necessarily get the same attention from all quarters.

Back to the run in and the next five games, I feel, give us a real chance to end the season on a high.

We had an excellent start to the game against Leicester on Saturday with two goals in the opening 10 minutes.

And while the second half performance perhaps didn’t live up to the first, I thought we did enough under great pressure to get the win.

Chelsea tonight pose a similar threat although I think Antonio Conte will probably rest a few of his players ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.

That seventh spot looks secure but what would a win over the Blues mean? Maybe it’s time to start dreaming even bigger!