Ralph Hasenhuttl feels the magical 40-point mark will be enough to preserve Southampton’s Premier League status.
The benchmark has traditionally been seen as enough to stay in the Premier League and Saints need 10 more points from the eight games they have left to hit that target.
They’ve had a long wait since defeating Tottenham 2-1 at St Mary’s on March 9 and they now face fellow strugglers Brighton on Saturday.
Victory at the Amex Stadium would draw Southampton level on 33 points with their hosts. Hasenhuttl doesn’t want to see his side battling for survival into the final knockings of the term.
“The most important thing is that you don’t go in the last or last two games and you have to have win to stay up because that’s a horrible situation,” Hasenhuttl said.
“Nobody wants this. “So if we get this 40 points it’s perfect. We are targeting the 40 points and for this we need three more wins and one draw and the sooner you get these points the better.”
Admitting that Saturday’s clash with Chris Hughton’s Brighton is something of a ‘six-pointer’, Hasenhuttl is delighted that he can call upon Danny Ings to lead the line.
“Danny has trained for two weeks now with the first-team,” Hasenhuttl said.
“Last week we had a friendly game and he played for 45 minutes without problems. “We will see if he is an option for the starting team but I am happy that he is back in training.
“It is important that we gave him all the time he needs. He has quality and is flexible in his play.”
Southampton are 3.00 to win at Brighton Saturday. The Seagulls are favourites at 2.50 while the draw is 3.10.