Adelaide United's home fixture against Melbourne City is being treated as a final by the winless Reds, frontman Bruce Djite says.
Adelaide enter the encounter as the sole A-League outfit without a win after four rounds.
"It's like a final for us. It's a key game in shaping our season," Djite said.
"But it's early - you have got to find the balance.
"If we win, we're not going to win the league necessarily. If we lose, we're not going to finish last necessarily."
Djite is expected to start for the first time this season, having made his return from a groin injury off the bench last weekend.
The powerful striker is viewed as not only an answer to Adelaide's scoring woes - they have only two own goals this season - but also as offering invaluable leadership as he'll captain in the injury-enforced absence of Eugene Galekovic.
"I don't think we're the most vocal team by any means but I don't think we lack leadership," he said.
"Everyone knows very well their position in the team.
"Eugene is the captain. We're missing him, there's no doubt about that.
"But we have leaders in the team, very experienced players, players who have dealt with situations a thousand times worse than where we are right now.
"... They know within themselves how to adapt to get ourselves out of the difficult situation we're in right now."