Newcastle Jets duo Mateo Poljak and Andrew Nabbout have underlined the importance of beating Western Sydney Wanderers as they battle for A-League finals spots.
With 12 rounds to go in the 2016-17 season, there is still plenty of time to decide the top six but the Jets are aware that every point they gain against other mid-table teams will be critical by the end of the campaign.
Just three points separate fifth-placed Wellington Phoenix, who defeated Melbourne Victory 3-0 on Tuesday, and the eighth-placed Wanderers.
Newcastle drew 2-2 with Perth Glory last week, missing out on fifth spot and Poljak wants to make up for that missed opportunity when the Jets visit Western Sydney on Sunday.
"Especially now, we've dropped out of the top six because of the result yesterday and we are well aware that we need to win if want to stay there," the midfielder said on Wednesday.
"This draw with Perth put us a bit back because if we won we'd be pretty much in fifth spot but now we have to work our way back into that top six."
Nabbout added: "Our main objective is to make that top six and Wanderers are definitely one of our opponents that are closer to us and we need to break away from them.
"So it's a big opportunity for us to break away from them and consolidate that top-six spot."
Newcastle will head to Campbelltown Stadium with just one loss in their past six games, which gives Mark Jones' side plenty of confidence.
"We've played pretty good football the last couple of weeks, even the last month-and-a-half," Poljak said.
"So I think we're rising."
While leaders Sydney FC and second-placed Victory have built a healthy gap on the rest of the A-League, the other four finals berths appear up for grabs with third-placed Melbourne City (23 points) only eight points ahead of Western Sydney.
It feels like the perfect season for the Jets to end their A-League finals drought.
Newcastle haven't finished in the top six since the 2009-10 season and Poljak is desperate to give Jets fans something to cheer about this term.
"Don't want it to sound like a cliché to say that Newcastle deserves it after many years to play in the finals but I think this year with the way we're playing and with the playing group I think we have a very good chance and I would be extremely disappointed if we don't make it," he said.