Bolton boss Owen Coyle feels his relegation-threatened side have had a season "you could not make up", but remains confident they can still finish the season on a positive note.
Coyle confident ahead of Stoke relegation decider
It has been an injury-blighted campaign for Bolton, with key players like Stuart Holden (knee) and Lee Chung-yong (broken leg) among the long-term absentees.
Fellow Trotters midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in an FA Cup game at Tottenham in March and while he has made a remarkable recovery since then, it is not known whether he will be able to play professional football again.
Then last weekend defender David Wheater became the latest member of the Bolton squad to pick up a serious injury, sustaining cruciate ligament damage in his right knee in the 2-2 home draw with West Brom.
Wanderers' season of setbacks could yet finish with their relegation from the Premier League, the result against Albion meaning that Coyle's men - currently 18th in the table - head into Sunday's final day needing to win at Stoke to have any chance of staying up.
They also require 17th-placed QPR to lose at Manchester City and luck has hardly shone on the Trotters this term. But while their manager has described what the team has been through as "beyond belief'', he is still optimistic of a happy outcome.
"David (Wheater) had been in fine form and his injury probably sums up our season,'' Coyle said. "It has been unprecedented - knee injuries putting players out for such a long period of time, leg breaks.
"It has just been incredible, with everything that happened to Fabrice as well. It has been great to see his smile now - how well he is recovering is a big positive that has come out of everything.
"There has been huge trauma and turmoil in terms of injuries and illness, but we have just got on with it and always remained grounded. We also know that after everything that has happened, we have an opportunity come Sunday to go and win that game and be smiling on Sunday night.''
Reflecting on Wheater's injury, Coyle said: "It looked innocuous, it really did at the time. David cleared the ball and I think he has fallen back and twisted his knee.
"It certainly looks as if possibly it will be nine months [before he is back], although it might be sooner than that. We wish him a speedy recovery and he will come back and have a fantastic career.
"The events that have taken place involving this football club this year have been beyond belief - you couldn't have made this stuff up. But it's happened, we've had to deal with it and that is what we have done. What we have to do now is get ourselves ready for a must-win game on Sunday - it is as simple as that.''
Asked if he thought his team would stay up, Coyle said: "I truly believe we will.''