Former Wollongong star Gary Ervin has fired an ominous warning to the Hawks ahead of tomorrow night's round 22 stoush in Townsville.
"I've gotta have my biggest game of the year," the Crocodiles guard said.
"It's just one of those things where your best player has to step up in key situations. I've been doing that all my life."
The Crocs (8-16) have their backs against the wall, knowing they need to win their final four games to have any chance to stealing a semi-finals berth.
Wollongong (11-14) aren't quite as desperate but can't afford to slacken off at any stage over the closing rounds. Ervin was Wollongong's first NBL MVP in 30 years when he played with the club in 2010-11.
Tomorrow night he will be doing everything possible to spoil the Hawks' play-off dreams.
"The confidence is still there and we just have to make some minor adjustments. We'll be fine this week."
Townsville lost their opening 10 games before gradually climbing up the ladder.
They have since lost their past four games, adding weight to the theory they spent so much physically and mentally turning their season around that they have no petrol in the tank for the home stretch of the regular season.
"It's just one of those things where things haven't been falling our way lately, " Ervin said.
"We've been on the road for the last four games, which is always tough. It is possible we spent so much fighting back after the bad start.
"You fight so hard to get back in contention, and then it's road game after road game after road game. The scheduling wasn't in our favour but there's still a lot of fight left.
"Six of our last eight have been on the road, and it's hard to win on the road in this league, especially at this time of year when everyone's fighting for the finals."
"It's going to be a tough game but we're going to come out fighting for sure," Ervin said.