Bryan Robson, the West Bromwich Albion manager, says his club desperately needs a pick-me-up after three consecutive home Premiership defeats and only one win in seven top-flight matches.
The joyous celebrations of Albion?s great escape from relegation are but a memory. Their stumbling start to the season, despite the collective assertion that confidence remains high, has left an unmistakable feeling of gloom hanging over the club. A fillip is required . . . and soon.
Their next opportunity comes at Blackburn Rovers tomorrow against opponents who, until last weekend, were in a similar position without a victory since August 20 and staring into the abyss rather than at the stars.
But all that changed for Mark Hughes? men last Saturday when they travelled to Old Trafford and knocked the ageing icons out of their stride. A 2-1 win transformed Rovers from relegation certainties into conquering heroes.
Robson is hoping his team can upend the applecart to a similar extent at Ewood Park and believes that such a result would provide the spark Albion need to fulfil pre-season predictions of mid-table safety.
?We just need that spark to get things going the way that Blackburn won at Man United last week,? Robson said.
But he recognises that to do that they will have to match their hosts physically and that means coming to terms with the energy of Robbie Savage, the pace of Craig Bellamy and the aggression of Paul Dickov.
And they?ll have to set about their work with a degree of urgency that has been beyond them in recent reverses to Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City.
Albion have started poorly in each of those matches and, with the exception of Wigan, have allowed their opponents to take the lead inside the first ten minutes.
It?s a trend that has got to end tomorrow.
Robson said: ?It?s about time we went out there with the determination and concentration levels to get us back to having a good solid platform to play some football.
?The way the last two games have gone we have not given ourselves a chance - conceding goals early on in a game. You have to chase the game and that makes it difficult for you.
?We are finishing games really strongly but that is not good enough, we have got to start them like that. Then, if you tire and you fade, that?s acceptable but we want it that way round not the other way.?
He also bemoaned the fact that they were not playing for the full 90 minutes. A good half here or promising passage there is not enough to stay out of trouble.
But he categorically denied that Albion were missing last season?s catalyst - Kieran Richardson.
The Manchester United winger joined Albion on loan in January and inspired them to save their skins with a string of influential performances from the centre of the park.
He returned to Old Traf-ford in the summer, following a North American tour with England, and has cemented himself into Sir Alex Ferguson?s plans.
Robson refuted the suggestion that his absence was a key factor to Albion?s travails, saying: ?The team shouldn?t miss one player, like Kieran.
?Kieran was a great influence on us because he had a lot of pace and was an aggressive lad but I should be able to find someone in my squad who can match that.
?One player doesn?t win you a football match. It is a group effort and Kieran Richardson couldn?t have done anything about the individual errors we?ve made.?
Meanwhile, on a more positive note, strikers Robert Earnshaw, Kanu and Diomansy Kamara have been called up for World Cup duty.
Earnshaw will link up with Wales for their matches with Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan, Kamara should play for Senegal against Mali although Kanu may not be fit in time for Nigeria?s match with Zimbabwe.
He will miss tomorrow?s match against Blackburn Rovers.