Stoke striker Cameron Jerome claims Saturday's relegation showdown with Aston Villa "is not do or die", but knows it is crucial City rediscover their form if they are to avoid a scrap for survival.
Although 13th in the Barclays Premier League, Tony Pulis' side have won just one of their last 12 top-flight games to slip to just four points above the bottom three.
It has made the Britannia Stadium visit of Villa, currently occupying 18th place, a crunch game in Stoke's own bid to avoid the drop.
Jerome, however, believes the match "is more important to them than it is to us at this moment in time".
That is not to belittle Stoke's remarkable slide in fortunes, but on the club's official website Jerome added: "They (Villa) are right in the relegation mix.
"Whilst we know we aren't clear of that threat either just yet, it is a game Villa know they really have to win.
"There are seven games to go and a lot of points to be played for, so obviously we want to pick up as many points as possible during that time.
"It's not do or die for us though, not at all, but we do understand the need of getting a win under our belts to give us a bit more breathing space, and in many ways take some of the pressure off."