Ruben Selles has told his Southampton side they must beat relegation rivals Nottingham Forest on Monday.
Saints sit bottom of the Premier League table heading into the clash with Steve Cooper’s Forest who are also in the relegation zone.
And Selles wants his side to embrace the pressure of such a crucial game as they look to retain their top-flight status.
“I think we have been very realistic of our situation from the beginning and the players have also been realistic, they put their thought and honesty into us,” he said.
“It’s a must win, we know what sort of game it is. But again we talk always about habits and the habit for us is to play with that pressure on ourselves.
“Because in the last five games we talk about if we win one game then we’ll be back in the battle and we’re trying to do that with better performances and sometimes they are not that good and we need to do exactly the same in those terms.”
Victory in Monday’s clash would be a first for Southampton since March 4.
They trail 17th-placed Leeds by six points and face the prospect of playing in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since 2012.
“We need to go into Monday night and know it’s an important game for us and go for it from the very beginning,” Selles added.
“This is the mentality and this is what I want the team to show every single game and that’s why we want to fight.
“This is the competitiveness of the Premier League we are still there. We didn’t have the best April but it is not only difficult for us, it is difficult for everybody.”