West Brom kept a clean sheet for the first time under Sam Allardyce's stewardship on Saturday afternoon, and the veteran manager believes that his side needs at least eight more to retain their place in the Premier League.
The Baggies played for an hour with 10 men against Burnley at the blustery Turf Moor, and even though it was the visitors who were disappointed with a goalless draw after Mbaye Diagne and Matheus Pereira spurned golden opportunities.
Allardyce barked at the absence of a cutting edge from his attackers, as the point he earned had little to do with their survival prospects, but he suggested it was at the other end of the field that will determine whether they avoid the drop.
Allardyce, who is attempting to maintain a remarkable record of never being relegated in the top-flight, said: "I'm definitely optimistic that we'll go forward and get more positive results than negative results.
"What we have to do is keep applying ourselves as well as we have done and be consistent in our performances and get a little bit better each game. Certainly, we have to get more clinical in front of goal, that's the ultimate.
"The defensive side is getting better and better, we need to keep that nice and tight. If we get eight or nine clean sheets from the next 13 games, we'll have a chance."
Allardyce, who succeeded Slaven Bilic two months ago, built a reputation for instilling defensive stability and organization at his former clubs, but West Brom have by far the worst defensive record in the league this season.
While the 55 goals they have shipped cannot be solely attributed to Allardyce, the former England boss had to wait until his 13th match for his backline to not concede.
Allardyce put this down to a hectic schedule allowing for little preparation in-between games as well as the procedures in place around practice because of Covid-19.
He said: "We've had no time on the training ground because of the games and the protocols, which means we only spend as little time as possible on the training ground with as little interaction as we can.
"It's about minimal time on the training ground and, of course, minimal time because of the game load."
A draw at Burnley followed last weekend's 1-1 stalemate against Manchester United so Allardyce, whose side have won just twice all season, knows the significance of the visit of Brighton to the Hawthorns next Saturday