DAVID Vaughan believes one more win wILL keep Sunderland up this season – and he’s hoping it comes against Aston Villa on Monday.
Managers and players are notoriously guarded about suggesting points totals in case predictions come back to haunt them.
But Sunderland midfielder Vaughan thinks the traditional 40-point safety target in the Premier League is likely to hold firm this season.
And if the Black Cats can win one of their four remaining games – against Villa, Stoke, Southampton or Spurs – they’ll reach that magic number.
“Do I think one more win will keep us up?” said former Blackpool star Vaughan. “Yes, I think it almost certainly will.
“If we beat Aston Villa on Monday there will be a six-point gap between us, there’ll be a gap between us and Wigan and maybe one or two others.
“So I do think reaching 40 points will be significant if we can do it.
“It will make it difficult for other teams to catch us, with games running out – especially as our goal difference is good compared to a lot of other teams.”
If Sunderland do beat Villa on Monday it will be the first time the Black Cats have recorded three league wins on the bounce this season.
In fact, it will be the first time it has occurred since January last year, when wins over Swansea, Norwich and Stoke under Martin O’Neill virtually ended Sunderland’s relegation worries.
But 30-year-old Vaughan reckons no one should be too surprised if the Black Cats did go on to make it three straight wins in new manager Paolo Di Canio’s first four games.
“It’s going to be a very difficult game, but it feels like we’ve got momentum after our last two wins,” said the Wales international.
“You can feel how the mood has changed inside and outside the club on the back of those wins.
“The belief and confidence in the squad has definitely improved in the last few weeks.
“We can see that the things we are doing on the training pitch are working, so we have a belief in the system and really want to keep it going.”