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Thursday 19 October 2017

One more win will see us safe, says Palace boss Allardyce

Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace visit Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday
Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace visit Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday

Sam Allardyce has set Crystal Palace the target of a minimum of three points from the coming week in the belief that will be enough to finally secure their Premier League status.

Palace visit Liverpool on Sunday before hosting Tottenham and then Burnley in the space of four days and Allardyce believes, if they can take their season's points total from 35 to 38, they can begin to plan for the 2017/18 season.

The manager has overseen an exceptional improvement since the end of the January transfer window, at which point the threat of relegation was significant.

However, despite Palace being so close to his target, he is not taking safety for granted or becoming over-ambitious.

"Thirty-eight points has been enough for (survival for) 10 years or more and we have got an opportunity to get there and get beyond it," said the 62-year-old.

"It is a big week for us to see how many points we can get. We want to take pressure off ourselves and get as many points as we can this week.

"At the end of this week there will only be three games left and, instead of one win out of six you might need one win out of three, which heaps the pressure back on again, so let's get as many points as we can.

"We are capable of getting points out of these games this week, as we have proved in the last six or seven games.

"I hope the players believe, as I believe, that they are capable of getting points out of them.

"Taking five wins out of six - and six wins out of nine - and we are still not safe, so it shows just how difficult a task it was to get us out of the bottom three."

Mamadou Sakho's influence on Palace's improvement has perhaps been greater than any of his team-mates, but the terms of his loan deal from Liverpool mean he is ineligible for Sunday's fixture.

In his absence the fit-again James Tomkins is expected to start and victory could lead to the club's first attempt to permanently recruit Sakho.

"Does Mama want to stay?" Allardyce asked. "Has Mama created a market for himself for other clubs, if not in the Premier League, in Europe, because they have monitored his performances with us?

"It is a big decision he has to make. If we stay in the Premier League, we will try our best to try and sign him.

"We will see how we go without him on Sunday. We have managed without Scott Dann and James Tomkins, with Martin Kelly stepping in, and let's see how well they can do without him.

"I will tell you what might be and what might not be when we get safe."

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