Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino didn’t use the term, but many will ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Norfolk.
But with home games against Chelsea and Liverpool next on Southampton’s agenda and back-to-back defeats against Newcastle and QPR to factor into their survival thinking, so ‘six’ and ‘points’ will cross many a mind on the South Coast.
Three, big and points were the words on everyone’s lips closer to home after City’s last Carrow Road outing and the last-gasp 2-1 win over Everton.
Last weekend’s dismantling at Old Trafford might be fresher in the memory as boss Chris Hughton begins to plot his own route to Premier League survival, but the fact that Norwich now enjoy an eight-point cushion on Wigan and Aston Villa in 17th and 18th places respectively.
Southampton, however, are just three points better off than their nearest relegation rivals which is why – given their impending fixtures at St Mary’s – this weekend’s trip to East Anglia is a huge date in their diary.
City win and they could be one more win and a couple of draws from the finishing line; a huge job done by Hughton in his first, full season in charge.
“We can’t really get ahead of ourselves, we need to take every game as it comes,” Pochettino, told the Southampton Echo ahead of their trip to Carrow Road – clearly he has some working knowledge of ‘football speak’ even if ‘It’s a real six-pointer…’ was missing.
His frustrations are clear. Southampton can pull off a huge win against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, but then stumble in a real ‘six-pointer’ against QPR.
We are fast getting into the period of the season when the mentally strong will be the winners – which is why City’s last-minute success against Everton was so encouraging. Character still lives on in the dressing room; inspired by the big characters within it.
“The game against Manchester City seemed quite tough and difficult but we did manage it quite well,” added the new Saints chief.
“Instead games that should have been easier, such as QPR, we had problems in them.
“What’s most important is that the team finds its regularity in terms of the mental aspect because in a tactical manner the team is playing in a regular way in these last six games. So we just need to find a regular way of playing in a collective and individual manner which perhaps was lacking against QPR.”
Hughton’s challenge, by contrast, is to make sure that everyone keeps their feet on the gas; that no-one thinks that it is already a case of ‘Job done!’
He is, however, setting a certain amount of store by the famed 40-point mark.
“We haven’t set a survival target but it’s quite obvious that there are averages over the seasons, and most look at that 40 point mark,” he told the club’s official website.
“You have something in your mind, but the most important thing is the next game and if you continue to get enough points, then perhaps your goals change a little bit.”
With every additional place being worth even more bucks – as is the wont of the Premier League – then further home wins could swell the coffers ever more.
And with the new TV deal kicking in this summer, the Canary chief could yet have previously untold riches at his transfer disposal.
First things first, however, and three points against Southampton…