It barely seems credible that after opening their campaign with a four-goal trouncing of QPR, Bolton should approach the return with manager Owen Coyle admitting his side are now scrapping for their lives.
Such are the fine margins that separate the Barclays Premier League's bottom five clubs at present that Coyle knows victory at the Reebok Stadium will see his side clamber up from their current position of second bottom and be out of the relegation zone altogether.
Nothing can be taken for granted. After all, Coyle's team might have beaten Liverpool in January but they also lost to fellow strugglers Wigan on their last outing on home soil.
As the finishing line draws nearer, so the anxiety will increase and the Bolton boss is calling on his side to make an impact now.
"This is the business end of the season," said Coyle. "We have to understand what is involved in every game and this match provides us with an opportunity to move out of the bottom three.
"That is what we have to strive to do. We have to make sure we are at our best to get those points."