Dublin hurler Chris Crummey knows the implications of this Saturday's Leinster SHC quarter-final against Laois in Croke Park (6.0).
“We know that it’s straight knockout: lose and you’re out of the Leinster Championship,” stressed Chris.
“There’s no game next week. It’s all on the line against Laois.”
Last year the O'Moore County men delivered the knockout blow to Mattie Kenny's men when they prevailed in the All-Ireland quarter-final preliminary game in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.
So there is great familiarity between the counties having played against each other frequently in Walsh Cup, League and Championship action in recent years.
(Below video filmed last week with Chris Crummey)
“We’ve already played Laois twice this year. It’s just really about winning the first match, that championship quarter-final. That’s our sole focus on Saturday.”
Dublin's championship last year was one of highs and lows - their terrific victory over Galway in Parnell Park coming just before they exited at the hands of Eddie Brennan's Laois.
Chris is anticipating another very competitive championship in the week's ahead - this year's competition being one like none other as a winter championship.
“That Galway game last year was effectively knockout,” said the Lucan Sarsfields clubman.
“We know that when we perform to the standards we set for ourselves that we can beat any team and we’ve proved that but we also know that if we don’t perform, any team can beat anyone.
“It’s so tight between all the teams in the Liam MacCarthy and Leinster Championship be that knockout or not, we have to perform to the highest standards or we’re probably going to get beaten.”
The fact that senior inter-county games will be played behind closed-doors is something Chris got his head around during the Dublin club championship.
“I would have had doubts before playing club championships but the majority of teams played behind closed doors without crowds.
“From my own perspective, I thought going into it that it would be difficult, but it really is a case of once the ball is thrown in and you know it’s championship, and what’s at stake and on the line, and the pitch itself has a very similar feel to it, you know the intensity is going to be different.
“I expect that to be the same on the inter-county scene as well. Having no crowd makes it different, from a spectator point of view. But, from a playing perspective, you’re concentrating solely on your role once the ball’s thrown in, crowd or no crowd.”
Where Chris could operate best for Dublin has been the topic of much debate in the capital this season - his attitude is he'll play anywhere.
“I’ve been playing for the club in the forwards over the past few months and in recent years.
“I’ll play anywhere. Half-forward or half-back – there are a lot of similarities there between the roles. You see wing-backs getting forward and wing-forwards back in their own defence, doing 'donkey work'.
“After playing in the forwards for both club and county, it’s more than likely that’s where I’ll be but I’ll play wherever Mattie Kenny decides to play me.”