Charles Sturt University coach Pat Noonan is trying to keep finals equations in the back of his mind heading into Saturday's game against East Wagga-Kooringal.
But he could be convinced to take a closer look if his players stand up and command attention with a finals-worthy performance at Peter Hastie Oval.
The Bushpigs (seventh) are a win outside the five, behind the Northern Jets and Coleambally, and have a percentage half that of the fourth-placed Hawks.
"It's a very important game for us but I don't have the luxury of looking at finals. I'm just looking week to week and trying to get the Ws up," Noonan said.
"I'm not at the stage where I'm thinking about finals, fully. It's in the back of my mind for sure, but I've got to think about this week, then when that's out of the way, look at next week.
"I think we're more than a chance to be in finals but it comes back to the hunger for it. We've got to want to put our best foot forward and that will show me whether we're hungry enough to want to play finals.
"I know there's a few blokes in our team who want to, but I'm still yet to see it from all 21, whether they can all say, 'Yep, we want to play finals'."
The Bushpigs have won just two of their last nine games and take on an EWK outfit coming off a shock draw at Barellan last week, after a loss to North Wagga the previous week.
He doesn't think that makes it any better or worse a time to play them. Instead he's remembering what the Hawks delivered when the teams last met back in May - a 59-point thumping - and knowing his Bushpigs have some work to do to match the top sides.
"I don't think it really matters. Those guys are professional enough to be in the frame of mind to be playing on a Saturday, regardless of how they went last week," Noonan said.
"I think in that first game when we played them, we got exposed. They were playing good footy. Just like North Wagga are playing now - they played awesome footy against us last weekend in terrible conditions."
Noonan said the return of Ben Coombe and Nick Wright will help CSU against a Hawks team hoping to climb back into the top three.
EWK welcome the return of key players at both ends of the ground - Trent Garner at full-back and Chris Ladhams at full-forward, but are still without ruckman Nick Hull while midfielder Harry Fitzsimmons also goes out.
The Hawks ended CSU's season last year, knocking the Bushpigs out in the elimination final in their first taste of play-offs in seven years.