Barnsley boss Danny Wilson is under no illusions about the importance of tonight’s away clash with fellow relegation-strugglers Charlton Athletic.
A much-needed victory would see the Reds claw within two points of hauling themselves out of the relegation with four games to go.
But defeat to the Addicks – who are just one place above the drop-zone would see Wilson’s side slip an alarming eight points behind their hosts – and with it all to do to maintain their Championship status.
And with tough fixtures against promotion-chasing Derby County and QPR still to come, as well as equally-testing matches with Leeds United and Middlesbrough, it’s hard to see how the Reds would be able to turn things around despite 12 points up for grabs.
It would take a very special run from Wilson’s hit-and-miss team to stay up – and other results would have to go their way.
But while there’s still hope Wilson has stressed he and his players will not throw in the towel.
“I feel terrible,” admitted Wilson after his side’s 1-0 away loss to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
“The whole team were thoroughly disappointed, but we’ve picked them up quick after that game because we’ve got a massive game on Tuesday.”
Wilson and his players know victory at the Valley would make for a interesting finale to what has been a rollercoaster ride for Reds’ fans.
“The players are very capable of [getting] it [the win],” stressed Wilson.
“We don’t look like a team that’s not got the fight in our belly to the end of the season. That’s a great bonus from a team point-of-view.
“But the games are running out – so a quick win. would put us back in the mix.
“If we approach the game in the same manner we did against Bolton, then I think we’ll have a great chance.”
Wilson cancelled his scheduled pre-match press conference at Oakwell yesterday, favouring to leave early with his team to London following a training session.
The boss will be without the injured Peter Ramage and Marcus Pedersen - both hamstrings - although Ramage has travelled with the squad to lend his experience and support in arguably the club’s biggest game of the season.
The good news is that centre-back Martin Cranie has recovered from a hamstring injury and is in contention.
Addicks boss Jose Riga saw his side beaten 3-0 away by Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
But the Belgian admitted: “I’d prefer to win the next game at home [against Barnsley] because it’s more important. ”
The Reds drew 2-2 with the Addicks in August. Chris O’Grady’s brace put them 2-0 up but were pinned back in the second half.