Sunderland will need at least 10 wins this season to have a chance of remaining a Premier League side.
That’s the target David Moyes has set his Sunderland side.
The Black Cats moved to within a point of safety with victory over Watford thanks to Patrick van Aanholt’s third goal of the season.
And Moyes has challenged his Sunderland squad to more than double their current tally of four league wins in order to stay in the top flight.
Sunderland looked dead and buried after going the opening 10 games without a league win but there has been a dramatic upturn in form in recent weeks, with Moyes’ side winning four out of seven in the league.
They travel to Manchester United on Boxing Day before a New Year’s Eve clash with relegation rivals Burnley.
And Moyes is targeting at least one more win before the new year.
“In my head I know that we roughly need to win 10 games this season in order to have a chance of staying up,” Moyes said.
“We might need more than that, who knows?
“Going into Christmas I knew we needed to be as close to five wins as possible and going into the New Year I would like to be as close to that tally if possible.
“We need to win at least one more before the new year and pick up some other points so we can hang in and go into the New Year in a stronger position.”
After travelling to Turf Moor, Sunderland host Liverpool at the Stadium of Light on Monday, January 2.
By the turn of the year, the Black Cats will have played the majority of the top six sides away from home, with Sunderland still to face Arsenal away in April before league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the season.
Moyes is pleased to have most of the big away games out of the way going into the second half of the campaign.
“By the new year we will have been away at Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and City, we will have done quite a lot of the big away games,” added Moyes.
“That is not to say it is making the other games any easier but we only have Arsenal and then Chelsea away on the last day of the season, it could be over for them by then.
“You want to win every game, of course, but I am trying to figure out where I can get those wins to keep Sunderland in the league.”
Sunderland stayed up with nine wins and 39 points last season, finishing two points above the drop zone.
Under Dick Advocaat and then Sam Allardyce, Sunderland drew 12 matches, something they have struggled to do this season.
In the 17 games played so far, Sunderland have only drawn twice; Southampton away and West Bromwich Albion at home.