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Is 40pts Safety? Remember 1997!
Published : 12 Feb 2013 18:17:20Rss feed
It was interesting to hear West Brom manager Steve Clarke insists (despite victory over Liverpool at Anfield) their focus does not yet extend beyond getting 40pts.
Late goals from Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku - after a string of saves from goalkeeper Ben Foster, including a Steven Gerrard penalty, had kept them in it - saw the Baggies leapfrog their opponents into eighth.
But while Liverpool still hold out an increasingly fading hope of a top-four finish Clarke has only one objective on his mind - for now at least.
Steve Clarke: "We have never spoken about European competition. I said from the start '40 points, first target' and we are almost there.
"To be honest I thought we'd be beyond the 40-point mark by now and we would've had a few games left to attack the rest of the season.
"We need one more win to get 40 points and we have 12 games left.
"Hopefully we will get it quickly and then we'll see where we end up at the end of the season."
Everyone talks about the Holy Grail - 40pts - but West Ham were relegated with 42 in 2003 and in the first season of the Premiership (1992/3) Crystal Palace went down with 49!
And, of course, Sunderland went down with 40 in 1997.
16 Southampton 38 10 11 17 50 56 −6 41 17 Coventry City 38 9 14 15 38 54 −16 41 18 Sunderland (R) 38 10 10 18 35 53 −18 40 19 Middlesbrough (R) 38 10 12 16 51 60 −9 036 20 Nottingham Forest (R) 38 6 16 16 31 59 −28 34
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