Wigan's Carling Cup hopefuls have been warned to forget about facing Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium if they fail to do the business at Tottenham on Sunday.
The Latics head to White Hart Lane in the strange position of looking to arrest a slide that has brought them just one win from their last seven league outings, while knowing victory would take them just three points away from a Champions League spot.
It is a measure of the startling progress Wigan have made since their elevation to the top flight last summer that they could be in their present position despite such poor recent form.
But neither manager Paul Jewell or assistant Chris Hutchings are ready to rest on their laurels just yet.
And while next weekend's Cardiff encounter - the first major cup final in the club's history - will probably represent the highlight of Wigan's season, their players have been warned anything less than 100% commitment at Spurs will leave some of them watching from the sidelines in Wales.
'If the players don't perform at Tottenham, they won't be picked for the following week, it is as simple as that,' stated Hutchings.
'They have done a good job for us so far this season but we have succeeded in nothing other than winning a few matches.
'The cup final is over a week away and there is no point in even thinking about it just yet.
'Even if we had a team in mind, we could still pick up three or four injuries which would force us to change it anyway.
'What we really want is to pick up a decent result at Tottenham and for the lads to give us a real headache about who is going to play in Cardiff.'
Star striker Jason Roberts has a particular reason to sweat as he serves the final game of a three-match ban, knowing Henri Camara is returning with something to prove after angering his manager with a late return from African Nations Cup duty with Senegal.
Lee McCulloch could also be available after his recent hernia operation, while Pascal Chimbonda returns from suspension.
For the first time in weeks Jewell can call on the majority of a squad that briefly secured second spot in the Premiership earlier this season, much to the astonishment of the pundits who had predicted an instant return to the Championship.
It should provide added confidence for Wigan's eighth meeting with a member of the Premiership's present top five, which has thus far not yielded a single point.
What Wigan can call on though, is the memory of their sterling Carling Cup semi-final victory over Arsenal at the JJB Stadium, which eventually proved enough to squeeze them into next week's meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
'That victory over Arsenal is a signal we can win these type of matches,' Hutchings added.
'We are confident but we know, as is the case against any top team, our goalkeeper will need to play well, we will have to defend solidly and we must take our opportunities at the other end.
'If we don't achieve those three things, we will lose.'