Slaven Bilić looking for "magic number" of 40 points ahead of Stoke trip

Slaven Bilić looking for "magic number" of 40 points ahead of Stoke trip

Slaven Bilić has stated that his need 40 points to secure their Premier League survival.

Danial Kennedy

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilić has stressed that the Hammers haven't secured their Premier League status just yet, stating that he wants to reach the "magic number" of 40 points ahead of Saturday's trip to Stoke City.

Looking for points

It has been a tough season for the Hammers for what was supposed to be a historic campaign for those in Claret and Blue, with recent form seeing them drastically towards the bottom of the Premier League table.

Bilić's men have managed to turn it around in recent weeks, with a win over Swansea City and draws with Sunderland and Everton putting a comfortable cushion between themselves and the drop zone.

There is currently a gap of seven points separating themselves and the 18th-placed Swans with four games to play, but the Croatian insisted that his side need to reach the 40-point mark just to make sure.

"People are talking about speculation that 38 points will be enough," Bilić told his pre-match press conference. "But in the history of the Premier League, it's always that magic number of 40."

"We have four games to play," the coach insisted to the gathered press. "And still 12 points to play for and we want to finish high."

"People are talking about who is safe but it is irrelevant," Bilić added. "We have four games left, a big game on Saturday and we are looking for points."


Skipper making his return

Bilić will need his strongest side going into the trip at the Bet 365 Stadium on Saturday, and he will be boosted by the return of his skipper Mark Noble.

Noble has been missing the past two games having picked up his tenth yellow card in the 1-0 win over Swansea City, the coach confirmed his return to the side but also confirmed the absence of striker Andy Carroll.

“We have a few knocks from our last game," he said. "But we will see today in training and tomorrow our situation.”

“We were off yesterday," the 48-year-old stated. "One [piece of news] is definitely that Mark [Noble] is back in the squad after two games suspended."

"Unfortunately, Andy Carroll won’t be available for this game," the Croatian confirmed. “I was expecting him to be back for this Stoke game, but he’s not, so he should be for the next game against Spurs."