Coaches are often prone to label games as "must win" affairs, if only in the hope of inducing an inspired performance from those under their wing.
But when Wairarapa United boss Phil Keinzley uses those words to describe his team's fixture with Napier City Rovers in Napier on Sunday he is speaking the absolute truth.
Anything less than victory and Wairarapa United's dreams of winning their first Central League football title will be history. In fact, they would then be lucky to even hold the runners-up spot for the odds would favour Napier City Rovers and Miramar Rangers overhauling them.
Not that a win in what is their final appearance for the 2012 season would necessarily guarantee Wairarapa United the championship either. For if Miramar Rangers, as expected, pick up the maximum points against bottom-placed Maycenvale United this weekend they could join Wairarapa United at the top of the points table should they win all three of the league games still to confront them.
There is no doubt though the Miramar Rangers threat won't be on the minds of either Wairarapa United or Napier City Rovers on Sunday. They will be treating their clash as a virtual grand final, a situation which must, of course, bring back memories of last year's Chatham Cup decider between the same two sides, won by Wairarapa United 2-1.
The importance of the result makes for an intriguing battle of tactics. Both teams do seem to be at their best when they are placing the emphasis on attack but they won't be wanting to take too many risks, particularly in the opening stanzas, because the concession of an early goal will add enormously to the pressure on the team falling behind.
It goes without saying that Wairarapa United will need to lift their effort several notches from that which produced a 3-1 loss to Lower Hutt City at Howard Booth Park, Carterton, last weekend.
From all accounts they struggled to get any continuity into their play through a surfeit of poor passing and even when they did manage to string a few passes together and work themselves into a prime scoring position they lacked both hunger and accuracy in their finishing work.
Hopefully the old adage of a poor dress rehearsal being good news for the big occasion will hold true for Wairarapa United on Sunday.
With just two losses in league games - both to Lower Hutt City - they have compiled a marvellous record in 2012 and nobody could doubt their ability to not only thwart the Napier City Rovers challenge, but to do so in style.
The return of tall defender Waisake Sabatu after a one-match suspension will clearly help the Wairarapa United cause.
Expect too another couple of hard-nosed individuals in Miroslav Tvaroh and Nathan Cooksley to play a huge part in the Wairarapa United defensive effort. They seldom come off second best in the argy-bargy stuff although it has to be said skipper Cooksley did look out of sorts last weekend.
And it will be interesting to see where Keinzley positions Adam Cowan whose impressive all-round skills could see him play anywhere on the park.
Just who starts up front for Wairarapa United will be interesting as well. On paper it would seem strange to even suggest the team's leading goal scorer Seule Soromon could on the reserve bench, but he has been struggling in his last couple of games.
Pita Rabo and Paul Ryder could perform as dual strikers.
But having said that, if ever there is a potential match winner in the Wairarapa United line-up it is Soromon who, at his best, can torment any defence with his pace and clever ball skills.