If Maik Taylor is to fulfil his dream of playing in the World Cup, he knows that Northern-Ireland must defeat Poland in a Group Six qualifying match in Warsaw tomorrow.
The Birmingham City goalkeeper, who was impressive against England at Old Trafford last Saturday, despite a 4-0 defeat, believes that Northern Ireland have reached a point of no return. It is, he says, win or bust.
However, the odds are stacked against Northern Ireland as Poland, who defeated Azerbaijan 8-0 three days ago, occupy second position behind England and have significantly greater experience at this level.
"If we hope to do something in the group, we need to win against Poland," Taylor said. "It is a huge match for us. Poland are going to be up for it and we have to stand up to that.
"They will be brimming with confidence after that win at the weekend. It is going to be another tough game. Poland have exceptional pace throughout the side."
Northern Ireland are stuck on three points after the defeat by England but it might have been worse.
Taylor made a string of superb saves in the first half but a catalogue of defensive errors led to a comprehensive defeat against a team that is growing in confidence.
But Taylor is undeterred and hopes that he and his international team-mates will learn from their errors against England.
"Everything was going to plan," Taylor said. "We set our stall out and had a reasonable shape. We restricted them, although one effort came back off the post, and generally it was long-range stuff.
"The first goal was a blow but we were still very much in the game. We need to learn that, even if you go a goal down, the match is not over. This is a very young squad and relatively inexperienced.
They are learning all the time. We have to dust ourselves down and get on with it and look forward to facing Poland."
James Quinn, Sheffield Wednesday's former West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City striker, is in the frame for the encounter with Poland after missing the England match through suspension and he will boost Northern Ireland's attacking options.
Taylor says that the arrival of Dave Beasant as goalkeeping coach has been a breath of fresh air. Beasant, the former Wimbledon goalkeeper, was drafted in by Lawrie Sanchez, the Northern Ireland head coach, and works with both Taylor and Roy Carroll. Taylor said: "I thoroughly enjoying training under Dave. Roy and I do our little bit away from the other boys and it has been beneficial. Dave has a lot of experience and is a good character, both on and off the field."
Taylor believes he is continuing to improve for both country and club, as he has a different mind-set to when he was younger.
"One of the biggest things I found out when I started was that I struggled to keep my concentration when I was not involved all the time," Taylor said. "That is something I have worked on. If it is quiet, I keep communicating with the defenders to remain focused."