Mick McCarthy thinks it may take a record points haul to stay up

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Phill Heywood

IT’S looking increasingly like a record points tally will be required to avoid Championship relegation this season.

Ipswich Town were the only side in the bottom half of the table to suffer defeat at the weekend, their narrow 1-0 loss at Blackburn Rovers seeing them slip to within one point of the drop zone.

The in-form bottom three of Peterborough, Bristol City and Barnsley all picked up victories, with just 10 points now separating the bottom 10 in the division.

Over the 17 seasons in which three teams have been relegated from English football’s second tier, the average number of points achieved by the team that finished third from bottom has been 47.

The most anyone has been relegated with has been 52 – the unfortunate Leicester and Millwall going down in 2008 and 1996 respectively.

“It could take more points than ever,” admitted Blues boss Mick McCarthy, whose side are currently on 35 points with 15 games still to play.

“With everyone at the bottom battling away, it might be some of the teams that are spiralling down that have a problem.

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“I’ve said from the day I walked in here that it could go right to the very end. It’s going to take 50 points – more than that maybe – and everybody is scrapping for them.

“There’s not a lot between the teams in this division. I can’t do anything about other teams’ results, we’ve just got to scrap it out and stay with it.

“Everyone has seen the spirit in our squad and that was the case again on Saturday. I was pretty pleased with the performance – we’ve just got to go again.”

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