Sam Allardyce believes West Ham United need just one more win to guarantee their Barclays Premier League place for next season and is aiming to bag it at the first available opportunity - at Southampton this coming Saturday.
The West Ham United manager was understandably enthused by his side's discipline and tactical awareness during Sunday's thoroughly deserved 0-0 draw at Liverpool, which moved them on to 37 points in the Premier League table. He now wants to ensure that level of performance, and in particular the defending, is mirrored at St Mary's at the weekend.
"The Liverpool performance was a fantastic display of being tactically very good against a team that can cause you lots of problems if you're not set up right," Big Sam said. "We've managed to nullify that ability they've got and then nearly won the game with the chances we created.
"I thought we had won it with a header that Jack Collison had cleared off the line. I was a little nervous for the last five minutes, hoping that the lads wouldn't slip up and they didn't.
"The draw was immense for us with two away games on the trot and Southampton coming up next. A draw away from home is always a very good result and it is another point towards our total.
"I think we just need one more win. It's a big point but at the end of the day the magic 40 point mark is what we're looking for and of course other teams below us have been putting unusual winning runs together.
"Our last three away games have brought us four points, it's building the confidence. Before that we were losing every away game we were playing, which was very disappointing."
If the mood in the press box was anything to go by, then James Collins's expert marshalling of Liverpool's Luis Saurez and his fellow attackers was integral to the visitors' shut out. Collins was ably supported by James Tomkins on his first start since 10 February, while, playing just in front of them, Gary O'Neil was a calming influence on an often intense encounter on Merseyside.
"Suarez likes to get the ball and run at you but James Collins was on top form with the timing of his tackles. It was terrific defending against one of the trickiest players in the Barclays Premier League if not the world and he was limited to a couple of shots that flashed past the post. The defending of James Collins and James Tomkins was outstanding.
"Missing Mark Noble was a bit of concern for me but Gary has slotted into that role exceptionally well and his use of the ball got us off on the counter attacks that we were looking for so he did a fantastic job."
A point at Anfield was all the more impressive given the assorted absentees from Big Sam's squad list. The terms of Andy Carroll's loan deal and Winston Reid's thigh injury caused them to both miss out, but they were expertly deputised for by the tireless Carlton Cole and the outstanding Tomkins, who himself was forced off himself with cramp late on.
"James Tomkins had to go off and Emanuel Pogatetz came on and did a fantastic job for us. The result is another positive for the squad. We've got George McCartney out, we had no Andy Carroll because of the loan, Winston Reid and Mark Noble are both missing and those are all players that would have been in contention to start the game so that's nearly 50% of your team. To be without those players and produce a performance and a result like that shows you how good the squad is."