West Bromwich Albion's training ground will be no place for the fainthearted this week after Nigel Pearson warned that possession of the shirt is no longer nine-tenths of the law following Albion's debacle against Wigan Athletic.
Manager Bryan Robson has already vented his spleen in the aftermath of Albion's third successive defeat - a spell during which they have conceded nine goals - and accused his players of ' kidding him.'
It looks as though Albion will field a different line-up for the sixth occasion this season as Robson, and his assistant Pearson, search for the magic formula.
Hawthorns' regulars were in total agreement with Albion's management team and voiced their displeasure at the players after a shocking performance.
The expected return of Zoltan Gera for next week's match at Sunderland, without a point after five Premiership matches, should give Robson's misfiring squad a huge fillip. Hungary's captain returned from two World Cup qualifiers in a state of disrepair but Pearson believes a large dose of good oldfashioned tlc will leave Albion's star turn with his batteries fully re-charged.
Gera will be monitored in training this week to ensure his fitness is back to the required level. World Cup qualifiers are always a prickly issue for clubs, who often feel let down when their star-turns return looking like a bag of spanners.
Pearson said: "It was disappointing last week as, potentially, he is one of our best performers. A week of rest and preparation should put him right but it has taken its toll on him.
"He was back in training yesterday and we will monitor where he is at on Friday. The important thing for us is that Zoltan is ready for the weekend."
Curtis Davies will also surely come into the frame after another shoddy show by the defence and Pearson is expecting a huge response on the training ground this week.
He said: "We need a good week's preparation to ensure that everyone is focused, so the selection of the team will be based on who is looking right for the game in training.
"The players who weren't involved last week will feel as though they have got a claim, so we will see how the week pans out.
"We won't dwell on the result but that's not to say we are going to sweep it under the carpet by any stretch of the imagination.
"The players went home on Saturday night with food for thought, as we had a long chat to clear the air after the game.
"There shouldn't be any after-effects and we always look for positives even though we analyse the reasons behind poor performances. "I am sure the players would agree with us - like the fans do as well - that Saturday's loss against Wigan was well below par. We have to accept responsibility and bounce back against Sunderland next Saturday."
Robson has shuffled his team this season but has yet to find his royal flush. Despite a healthy return of goals the defence has conceded nine goals in the last three outings. They hover just outside the relegation zone.
Pundits are billing the clash with Sunderland as a relegation six-pointer - in mid-September - but Pearson wants to avoid any repetition of last season's travails, when relegation was avoided on the last day.
He said: "We need to leave last season behind and put that to bed. We got ourselves out of a self-inflicted situation and we want to move on from that.
"However, in order to do that, you have to perform at every stage of the season.
"We started positively in the first two games but we have dropped off since and we need to get back to an acceptable level."