Melbourne forward Tom McDonald freely acknowledges the next few weeks will be the biggest his AFL club has seen in more than a decade.
The Demons can edge closer towards booking their first finals appearance since 2006 when they host Sydney at the MCG on Sunday, beginning a tough run home that includes games against West Coast (away) and GWS.
While they sit fourth on the ladder with a strong percentage, the Dees have little margin for error given the logjam between third and 10th.
Melbourne were on the cusp of a top-eight finish last season only to lose their final-round game to Collingwood and fall short by just 0.5 per cent.
But far from taking it a week at a time, McDonald says the Dees are embracing their tough task and daring to dream of September action.
"We've got three games left - we've probably got to win two to make certain of it," he said.
"We've got three really good sides coming up as well so it's our probably biggest three weeks we've had in the last 10 or 15 years, really."
McDonald is equally confident the Demons have the weapons to make a big impact in the finals.
Brownlow Medal contender Max Gawn has stamped himself as the competition's premier ruckman, Clayton Oliver is a star in the midfield and Jesse Hogan sits sixth on the Coleman Medal count with 46 majors.
Coach Simon Goodwin has put a premium on flexibility, with Oliver, Angus Brayshaw and Christian Petracca rotated between forward and midfield roles.
The Dees are yet to beat a top-eight side and will face a Sydney outfit, led by ever-dangerous Lance Franklin, that's dominated their recent MCG encounters.
"We know how good Sydney is and we know how good Buddy can be," McDonald said.
"We probably haven't beaten them for a while, even at the 'G, so it'll be a big challenge for us."
The Demons have recalled Cam Pedersen and Jayden Hunt in place of Joel Smith (collarbone) and veteran Bernie Vince, who was dropped for the second time this season.
Ruckman Gawn didn't train on Thursday but the Demons expect him to prove his fitness on Saturday.
Sydney welcomed back big gun Dan Hannebery and dropped Dan Robinson. Gary Rohan has recovered from a broken hand but will return via the NEAFL.