Sam Allardyce is putting a number on it.
Chris Wilder is looking one game at a time.
And we’ll find out Scott Parker’s thoughts after Fulham plays on Tuesday.
But the bottom three’s worries about relegation have most past theoretical to palpable after Sheffield United beat West Bromwich Albion to give the latter just one point from six in consecutive six-pointers.
[ MORE: Three things from Blades – West Brom ]
“A lot of what we talk about has happened again tonight after trying to make players aware of the situation, particularly the defenders,” Allardyce said. “I’m dealing with the situation as it arises. They were just about to bring Billy Sharp off and all of a sudden his last moment in the game ends up with him scoring the goal. What would have happened if it was a few seconds later?”
We don’t know, Sam. Is another striker in the same spot? Maybe a goal then. Or a miss? Darn butterfly effect. Always messes with you.
He’s worried. And he should be. West Brom had a clear-the-air meeting after getting hammered by Man City. They promptly allowed a goal to Fulham, came back to take the lead then blew that in a draw… and blew another lead Tuesday versus Blades.
West Brom’s 12 points are now just one more than basement-dwelling Blades and are two back of Fulham, who’s played two fewer matches than the others.
[ RELATED: Fulham – Leicester — 1pm ET Weds. ]
Allardyce says he’s targeting 38 points, an awfully-specific number, for safety, The Baggies have 48 points available to them. That’s an issue.
As for Blades, Wilder knows what the moment can mean to his side. Sheffield United doesn’t just have to overcome the worst start in English history, it has to pass three other teams.
“It’s a big win but there is still a long way to go and we are not getting carried away at all, there is a huge challenge in front of us,” Wilder said. “But we are alive and fighting and that’s all we can do and we will carry that on against Chelsea at the weekend.”
What should the target be?
The 17th-place pace is one point-per-game, or 38 total points. So we can see why Sam went with that instead of the traditional 40.
But what has that spot meant, points-wise, in the past decade?
Aston Villa had 35 last season and was safe by a point. Brighton 36 the previous season and safe by two.
Saints’ 36 in 2017-18. Prior to that, it was 40, 39, 38, 36, 39, 37, and 40.
Here’s who’s left on the docket for both teams, with Fulham – Sheffield United on Feb. 20 the only match left between the trio.
West Brom remaining fixtures
Home: Manchester United, Brighton, Newcastle, Everton, Southampton, Wolves, Liverpool, West Ham
Away: Spurs, Burnley, Palace, Chelsea, Leicester City, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Leeds
Sheffield United remaining fixtures
Home: Chelsea, Liverpool, Southampton, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Brighton, Palace, Burnley
Away: West Ham, Fulham, Leicester City, Leeds, Wolves, Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle
Fulham remaining fixtures
Home: Leicester, West Ham, Sheffield United, Man City, Leeds, Wolves, Burnley, Newcastle
Away: Everton, Palace, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton, Manchester United