Manager Darren Ferguson has challenged his Peterborough United players to begin the process of rebuilding their season by reaching the third round of the FA Cup.
Posh travel to League One strugglers Colchester United on Sunday for a televised second-round tie involving two woefully out-of-form teams (4.30pm).
Ferguson is under intense pressure after a run of just one league point from a possible 18 while Colchester have lost their last four matches.
Ferguson said: “There is no doubt this cup match has come at the right time. It is a welcome distraction after the run we’ve been on.
“Cup games can kick-start a season. We saw that to some extent with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last season and we have to hope Sunday’s game can have a similar effect.
“We have focused on trying to get confidence and belief back into the players after the manner of the defeat against Bristol City last Friday.
“It is essential we play in a way which allows us to be creative and we have a few ideas on how to do that.
“We need to deliver a good performance and win the game to gradually build our season back up step-by-step.
“It is also a big game in terms of the revenue that could potentially be made from a good draw in the third round. That is important as our crowds have gone down which is understandable given our recent results.”
The FA Cup provided Posh’s only victory in the past six weeks as they saw off lowly League Two side Carlisle 2-1 in a first round tie when defender Christian Burgess’ brace included a last-gasp winner.
Loan recruit Craig Mackail-Smith does not have permisison to play at Colchester, but Aaron Mclean has got the green light to line up.
Another recent signing, Harry Beautyman, is cup-tied while Marcus Maddison is a doubt after taking another knock to the ankle during his surprise comeback against Bristol City last Friday.