Bryan Robson does not look like a man given to superstition but, if West Bromwich Albion win their battle on Sunday to remain in the Premiership, he will owe much to 16 players and one lucky charm.
The Albion manager needs his team to defeat Portsmouth and hope that Norwich City, Southampton and Crystal Palace all fail to win. If Albion perform the unexpected, he will have cause to thank the small Buddha figure that he keeps in a suit pocket.
It was with him when the team drew 1-1 away to Manchester United on Saturday night, a result that keeps alive - just - Albion's chances of survival.
But Albion were sleepwalking towards relegation last Christmas when, after thrashings at the hands of Birmingham City and Liverpool, even Robson was beginning to wonder if there was any hope.
And then his three children returned from holiday with a gift.
"My son and daughters bought me something from Tenerife in January - a little Buddha, and they said that I have to keep it in my pocket for every match," Robson said. "Whether it is having an effect or not, I don't know.
"Only time will tell if it will have a bearing on our survival prospects. My son hammered me because the only match I didn't take it was away to Chelsea, which we lost. I had it in my pocket for the Manchester United game."
Coincidentally or otherwise, Albion's results have improved significantly since January. Prior to their match at home to Blackburn Rovers on April 26, they even controlled their own destiny. A draw that night increased the pressure but Robson will turn to his Buddha one final time at The Hawthorns on Sunday.
He is not the first manager to dabble with the unorthodox. Glenn Hoddle of Wolverhampton Wanderers opts for biorhythms, while Harry Redknapp of Southampton prefers his plastic angel. Robson's charm, however, tops the lot.
"Just going into the last game of the season with a fighting chance was the position we always wanted to be in. At the turn of the year, it did not look as though it would work out that way.
"We have got to be pleased about last weekend, the way that results went for us. That point at Old Trafford could be invaluable.
"That point means the other three teams [Norwich, Southampton and Palace] have to win, whereas had we lost, they would only have needed draws."
While Albion are sweating against Portsmouth, Palace play away to Charlton Athletic, Southampton play at home to Manchester United, and Norwich play away to Fulham. If any of Albion's rivals win, Robson and his players will be consigned to Coca-Cola Championship football.
"I feel like we have a second chance, now that Southampton have got a draw against Crystal Palace with a last-minute goal," Robson said. "That draw made a massive difference for us.
"The start of the season, all the four teams had a shocking time. But, to be fair, we have all picked up our performances and given ourselves a shout. I think it is the first time it has happened that nobody is relegated going into the final matches of the season.
"For me, the only disappointing result of late was the Blackburn Rovers one. We knew that winning the game would have given us an advantage over everyone else.
"But we had five away games, against Charlton Athletic, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Manchester United, and to only lose one of them, you accept the situation.
"We have improved a lot. Kevin Campbell and Kieran Richardson have played a big part in that. I do feel that we are playing far better football than when I first came to the club. But we have to win our final game. If so, and the gods are looking down on us, we will be OK. If the gods are not on our side, then at least we have given it everything.
"You never know what would have happened had I taken over earlier but I would say this: if we do stay up, we
will not have the same problems in staying in this division next season."
There is bound to be a temptation for Robson to keep in touch with what is happening in the other matches that can affect the relegation issue. But he will resist it. All that concerns him is what happens at The Hawthorns. What happens elsewhere is beyond his control.
"I will not try to find out what is going on in the other matches," Robson said. "We will focus on our own game. We have to win. That is our main focus. If we do that, the fans will have a way of telling us what is going on. In a sense, it makes it more simple for us. We have to win. The other teams don't know if a draw will be enough or if they have to win."
Robson only has one significant injury problem. Russell Hoult, the goalkeeper, is still nursing a groin injury and, says Robson, has a less then 50-50 chance of playing. Tomasz Kuszczak is likely to remain in goal.