Dundee United need to ignore everything that’s happening around them and just concentrate on winning matches between now and the end of the regular season.
As the Tangerines head for in-form Dunfermline today, that’s the view of midfielder Sam Stanton.
On paper it looks a task that could prove easier said than done.
Championship leaders Ross County are in action again tonight and, if they come out on top in the Highland derby at Inverness Caley Thistle, their advantage over United will be stretched to a massive 14 points.
With nine games to go, for many that would mean the race for automatic promotion was effectively over.
Most in the Tannadice dressing-room don’t see things that way and, with two games against the Staggies still to come, for the time being at least, there’s no way boss Robbie Neilson and his players are conceding anything.
Stanton, though, is happy to leave such discussion to others because he knows if his team are not winning on a regular basis, that alone will extinguish hopes of a return to the Premiership this year.
“Everyone can see it’s a big lead Ross County have over us now so, obviously, all we can do is try to put pressure on them and you do that by winning games,” he said.
“But the big thing at this time of the season is to build momentum and that’s what we have to do, whether that’ll be to catch County or to go up through the play-offs.
“And there is no point in looking at them, it’s completely on us and what we do.
“We can narrow the gap because we play them twice. We can beat them in both of those games, we know we’re capable of that but we’d need to win all the other games as well.
“What’s important is that we go on a winning run because that’s a massive thing going into the end of the season, whether you’re going for automatic promotion or if you are going to be in the play-offs.”
The 24-year-old’s experience of the second tier tells him how difficult that’s going to be and, if anything, he believes putting together a winning run this term is harder than it’s ever been.
“I think when you look at the league right now you see that any time you’re playing, there is no guaranteed games you are going to win.
“Everyone in the league has something to play for, whether it’s the teams up at the top or the ones down at the bottom.
“I think this is one of the tightest seasons I’ve seen for a few years.”
That view is backed up by the progress of today’s opponents.
Until a five-game winning streak, the Pars were looking over their shoulders and worrying about being dragged into a relegation dogfight.
Now they’re in a play-off spot and, if they can make it six wins on the trot today, they’d be challenging United in the race for second place.
That makes this game almost as vital as the looming clash with Ross County at Tannadice on Tuesday.
Stanton knows he and his team-mates will have their work cut out today but stressed the aim is to maintain an unbeaten East End Park record that stretches back to 2007.
“As a club we’ve had a good record against Dunfermline and we want to keep that going.
“They are on a good run right now but we believe we can go there and win.
“If we do win this one we keep a gap to the teams below us.
“That’s important but we just have to look to be winning games as often as possible.”