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Magic number is 38 for West Ham, boss Allardyce

25 March 2014, 20:22

London - If West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce buys a lottery ticket this week he will probably put a cross on the 38.

That is the magic number he has in his head when calculating how many points his side will need to avoid being relegated from the Premier League this season.

Going into Wednesday's home match against FA Cup semi-finalists Hull City, another side still battling to guarantee their top-flight status, West Ham have 31 points after a strange run of four consecutive wins followed by three defeats in a row.

They are six points better off than third-bottom Sunderland, who have played two games fewer, and Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace are also between the Hammers and the drop zone.

Despite that cushion, Allardyce fears his side have undone the good work they did in February.

"I definitely never said or suggested that we were safe when we were on the fantastic run," Allardyce, a vastly-experienced manager when it comes to relegation tussles, told the club's website on Tuesday.

"It goes to show that the game can change very quickly in the space of three games, and to use an old adage, we're now getting sucked back into the danger zone."

"Thirty-eight (points) we'll need and we'll try to get more than that as quickly as we can," he added. "I think 38 points will be needed this year. It's such a big game on Wednesday now.

"They've sneaked points ahead of us with a great win against West Brom on Saturday and it's now a big six-pointer on Wednesday night.

"Following that we play Sunderland away on Monday night, so we're either going to very nervous by next Tuesday, or we're going to feel a little bit safer."

West Ham are hoping Matt Jarvis will be fit to face Hull after he suffered a tight thigh following the 2-0 home defeat by Manchester United on Saturday.

"We'll wait for him until tomorrow and then make a decision then. At the moment it's looking doubtful," Allardyce said.

While the bottom two, Fulham and Cardiff City, look favourites to be relegated, no club in the bottom half of the table is completely safe and Saturday's fixtures have thrown up key clashes with Swansea at home to Norwich City and West Brom hosting Cardiff.

"I've never in my long career, never experienced the ups and downs that we've experienced this season," Allardyce said of the dogfight in the lower reaches of the Premier League.

"The consistencies, the inconsistencies, the changes of the game, the way results have gone throughout the league."

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- Reuters


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