It will be all hands to the pump for Birmingham City as the season enters the final furlong.
Steve Bruce, the manager, cannot afford to dis-count any player within his squad as he searches for the solution to their problems.
Nicky Butt and Neil Kilkenny are at different ages of the age spectrum with Butt in vogue and Kilkenny warming the bench.
However, it seems only a blink of the eye since Butt was apparently ostracised from Bruce's first-team squad after a heated tete a tete at West Ham.
Butt stormed out of the hotel after being axed from the starting eleven; however, Bruce recalled him for the next fixture at Stoke and his form has improved.
Kilkenny was Birmingham's shining light earlier in the campaign as a gloom enveloped St Andrew's.
The 20-year-old's intricate passing skills and ubiquitous approach attracted a host of admirers among disgruntled supporters.
Yet since the turn of the year he has been forced to adopt an increasingly peripheral role and has started only two Premiership fixtures in 2006.
Despite making 20 appearances this term, Kilkenny is bound to feel frustrated by his lack of recent first-team action.
Nevertheless, he can draw solace from the encouraging words of Butt who has been there, seen it, done it and worn the t-shirt.
"Neil could go on to be a top player as he has got all the necessary attributes," Butt said.
"Maybe he might have to do a little bit more of the other side of football. The nasty bits that no one likes to do. But he's a top-class footballer, who is technically gifted and a hard trainer who is prepared to listen to the coaches and all the other players.
"As long as he keeps his feet on the ground and digs a bit on the other side of the game, he will be a top, top player.
"He has never asked for advice personally, he just gets on with his football. However, he does take things on board and listens to the experienced players when they talk among themselves.
"Hopefully, he can learn from that and he can learn from the coaches as well and go a long way.
We have got players at the club that are more than capable of ensuring we step up but we have got to show it."
However, Bruce has fresh problems sprouting up in all areas of the park and the midfield appears to be the least of his worries.
His makeshift back line was cut to ribbons by West Bromwich Albion last weekend and left Bruce shaking his head in disbelief.
He said: "We've looked at the game again and the problems were down to our poor, poor defending and elementary mistakes."
Kenny Cunningham is likely to be thrust back into the fray against Tottenham Hot-spur on Saturday but Matthew Upson is no nearer returning to fitness.
However, if Bruce can build a blue brick wall to repel Tottenham he still has the problem of trying to improve their potency.
Twenty-three goals from 28 games is one of the major factors behind their parlous position and Chris Sutton is likely to be recalled after a two-game absence due to injury.
Yet Sutton struggled in his last two games as his injury has taken its toll. He has a dreadful recent goalscoring return of only one goal in his last 43 Premiership appearances for Blackburn, Chelsea and Birmingham.
Emile Heskey has scored only three goals in his last 28 appearances and therein lies Birmingham's problem.
With top scorer Jiri Jarosik injured, Bruce will be hoping that Heskey and Sutton can find their shooting boots for the remainder of the campaign.
Some good news is that Mehdi Nafti will return to training by the end of the week after his knee injury last August.