West Brom might be staring down the barrel of relegation but Sam Allardyce says he saw enough in their 0-0 draw with Burnley to inspire his side to survival.
Albion got off to an inauspicious start at Turf Moor on Saturday and Big Sam was left exacerbated after Semi Ajayi’s red card on the half-hour mark reduced his side to 10 men but they battled back valiantly and should have secured all three points.
Performances will not be enough to lift them out of the relegation zone but the Baggies boss has taken solace in a rare clean sheet that he thinks can set the springboard for a survival push.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Allardyce chose to look on the bright side of a result that still leaves them 11 points behind 17th placed Newcastle United, saying: “I am definitely optimistic we will go forward and get more positive than negative results.
“We have got to be more clinical in front of goal and keep the defensive side nice and tight.
“I think if we get eight or nine clean sheets we will be fine. We got our first one today and that is the backbone for any side who wants to get out of trouble.
“The team is looking stronger with the four signings we made in January. It was one of the best 10-men performances I’ve seen.
Big Sam must be dreaming
So that’s just the eight clean sheets to take from the remaining 14 games – simple task, right?
Big Sam must think he’s in charge of Manchester City with these comments.
We’re all for a bit of optimism but to set such an unrealistic target and say ‘we will be fine’ is an utter disrespect for supporters who are fed up of listening to his mindless nonsense after games.
It’s just pure lip service designed to keep him clinging onto the job that is clearly too big for him.
Keeping a clean sheet is certainly a positive especially taking into account the first-half dismissal of Ajayi.
But Allardyce needs to remind himself over who the opponents were – a Burnley side who have scored less Premier League goals  than every other club in the division bar rock-bottom Sheffield United.
It is the first clean sheet of the Big Sam era that began in mid-December so this is hardly a brilliant achievement to wax lyrical about.
In fact we have the second-lowest number of clean sheets this season with three so we would have to nearly treble this number in the remaining fixtures to meet Allardyce’s target.
We won’t hold our breath.
In other West Brom news, Joseph Masi shares update on future of Mbaye Diagne.