Rotherham United manager Paul Warne believes 45 points will be enough to secure Championship survival this season.
With just eight games remaining, the Millers occupy the final relegation spot ahead of today’s trip to Derby County.
But just three points separate the Millers (36), Reading (37), Millwall (37) and Wigan Athletic (39), with Bolton Wanderers (29) and Ipswich Town (24) cut off at the bottom.
Last year, 42 points would have been enough to stay up – Barnsley were relegated on 41 – but 12 months previously, Blackburn Rovers went down with 51.
“If you had asked me four weeks ago, I thought 42 would have been enough this year,” said Warne. “But everyone has picked up points down the bottom.
“If you look at the bottom six teams, you are asking them to potentially win three, draw one and lose four. I don’t think any have been in that good form all season.
I think it will be somewhere between 42 and 45, who knows it could be 40?Paul Warne
“I think it will be somewhere between 42 and 45, who knows it could be 40?”
For the higher estimate of 45, that is three more wins for a Millers side who have tasted victory just seven times all season.
“I think Birmingham have got too much, I don’t see them getting dragged into it,” he said. “They probably need one win in eight to be safe.
“I see pressure on Wigan, Reading and Millwall, to a certain extent. I feel they are the ones who will feel pressure more than us.
“I try to take the pressure off the lads all the time, tell them how proud I am of them. I am not being patronising, I just say it how I see fit. I think our lads have been excellent all season.
“The pressure won’t mount on them, we just go through the same process every week, and try to get them to perform.
“The league table will change over the next few weeks but, hopefully, at the start of May we will be in a good position.
“Don’t get me wrong, come the last day of the season and we have to win 2-0 to stay up, that’s pressure.
“But there’s eight games to go, and there will be ups and downs between now and the end.”