Sam Allardyce believes 38 points will be enough to stay up in this season’s Premier League relegation battle.
The Sunderland boss saw his team grab a point at Southampton, to go one point clear of the relegation zone, but the Black Cats are eight points behind 16th placed Swansea.
Jermain Defoe’s 14th goal of the season seemed to have sealed a vital three points for Allardyce’s side at Southampton on Saturday, but Virgil Van Dijk netted in injury-time for the home team.
Next up for Sunderland is a huge derby against relegation rivals Newcastle on Sunday March 20, but Allardyce has his eyes on the long haul.
“It’s not about Newcastle, or anyone else,” said Allardyce.
“It’s about us getting to 38 points as quickly as we can.
“We should have had 27 now, we should have only needed another 11 from nine games and we don’t have that opportunity.
“The gap between us and the teams above us has got to a stage where we’d have to win three games on the trot and they’d have to lose three games on the trot, just for us to catch them.
“That’s how difficult we’ve made it for ourselves.
“We still wanted the chance to catch those above us if we’d won, and we haven’t done it, so we’re making life difficult for ourselves.
“I am pleased with performances, but by and large we’ve just got to turn them into victories and very quickly.”