West Brom head coach Sam Allardyce says 38 points is the “ultimate target” which will ensure his side remain in the Premier League next season.
The former England manager is in charge at his eighth Premier League club – a competition record – and is yet to be relegated from the English top flight.
Allardyce has won just one of his nine league games since he replaced Slaven Bilic in December which has left the Baggies 10 points from safety.
Albion have 12 points from 22 games and the 66-year-old believes Albion need 26 from the final 16 matches to survive, having failed to beat Fulham and Sheffield United during the last week.
“They used to say the safety mark was 40 points. It’s not really that now, it’s 38, and that will be the ultimate target,” Allardyce said.
“When I compare it with other situations where I’ve come into the Premier League around December – Blackburn, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton – and the points difference to games this would be the hardest one.
“The amount of points that have to be made up. We could easily be sat here with four points from those two games (against Fulham and Sheffield United) and that would have been very satisfying indeed.
“But we slipped up so when we play Tottenham, Manchester United or West Ham we’ll have to get a victory in those games.”
Allardyce says West Brom must start beating the Premier League’s big teams to stay up, with a visit to Tottenham on Sunday preceding a home game against Manchester United next weekend.
“We have failed against teams in and around us to achieve the number of points we wanted to, which means we have to make up those points against teams in higher positions,” Allardyce added.
“We have to produce performances in those games to get some victories, not just draws. That’s the position we’ve put ourselves in.
“We’ll have to surprise teams like I’ve done in the past at other clubs in this position.
“We need to do what Brighton and Burnley have done, get a victory against some of the bigger teams in this league, while not forgetting when we play teams in that bottom eight it’s almost getting to the stage where it’s a must-win.”
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