Currently, if we win our games in hand we would be 6 points clear of second. If we were in 18th position (currently 34 points) we would need 10 games in hand to have the chance of acheiving what we have now. O.k. I would be slightly worried but can't see that happening, at least not on this planet.So you wouldn't bat an eyelid if you were 18th at this point of the season?
The league table is important always. The higher you are up the league then the more points you have compared to others. This is not a 1500m race where you can conserve energy until near the end and then start gaining 5 points for a win in April.
Whilst there is always exceptions, in most cases the teams that get promoted are nearly always up near the top for most of the season