‘Survival not enough’ – Moyes sets ambitious target for the end of the season

David Moyes has set his sights on winning “five or six” matches before the end of the season, as he backs Roy Hodgson’s claim that accumulating 40 points should be sufficient for Premier League survival, writes the Evening Standard.

West Ham will face Hodgson’s Palace team in the early kick-off at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with both clubs looking increasingly likely to avoid relegation. Palace had won three consecutive games following Hodgson’s surprise return to the club, and are currently eight points clear of the relegation zone, although they have recently lost to Wolves and drew with Everton, who are also struggling.

In contrast, West Ham’s form has greatly improved in recent weeks, and despite a controversial 2-1 loss to Liverpool in midweek, they remain five points clear of the drop, with a game in hand over all their rivals. While one more win would almost guarantee safety for Moyes’ team, the Scottish manager is aiming for more.

Moyes said: “We are searching for five or six wins between now and the end of the season,”

“That’s what we are doing, we are not just looking for one. We have got to give everything we can.

“We had a couple of good games away and if we can continue to build on that and keep our performance levels high, which they have been recently, it will give us every chance.

“I thought we did a lot of good things against Liverpool. We were competitive and we took a good side quite close in the end. We had a couple of decisions which did not quite go in our favour. Sometimes when you play those sorts of sides you need that, but on the night we didn’t get them.”

The conventional belief is that a team requires 40 points to secure their Premier League status, but in reality, the threshold has been much lower in most seasons. Palace’s current points tally of 37, which is three more than West Ham’s, would have been sufficient to stay up in all but one of the previous ten campaigns. Notably, West Ham was relegated in the 2002/03 season despite achieving 42 points, which was the last time a team hit the 40-point mark and still got relegated.