Luke Chambers believes Nottingham Forest's team spirit could prove crucial when they tackle Swansea in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Monday night.
The sold-out Liberty Stadium clash is finely poised following Thursday's goalless first leg at the City Ground.
And Forest defender Chambers believes the strong bond within manager Billy Davies' dressing room will prove its worth on what is sure to be a nervy night.
"We have a real friendship in the team," said the Reds' player of the year. "We are all a similar age. We are all genuinely good friends.
"In football you have acquaintances and you have team-mates. But over the last few years there has been a real friendship that has developed within this squad.
"There are no cliques and that can only bring us closer together and help us to achieve what we want.
"It is unusual to have that running right through a team. Players always talk about team spirit and camaraderie, but this is the best I have experienced during my career."
Forest are looking to end a 12-year absence from the top flight, but that is nothing compared to Swansea's 28-year wait to regain their place among England's elite.
The Swans are bidding to become the first Welsh side and first non-English club to play in the Premier League since its inception in 1992.
The key talking point from the first leg was the second-minute dismissal of City left-back Neil Taylor, who will discover on Monday whether his appeal at a Football Association of Wales hearing is successful.
Skipper Garry Monk was the man introduced from the bench as manager Brendan Rodgers reshuffled his defence and the centre-back put in a commanding display.
Rodgers must now decide whether to restore Monk to his XI in place of Alan Tate, although much will depend on Taylor's availability, with Tate to switch to full-back should his ban be upheld.
But regardless of whether he starts, Monk knows the tie remains very much in the balance despite many observers viewing Swansea as slight favourites.
"We haven't done anything yet; we haven't won anything or lost anything. It's still 0-0," he told the club's official website.
"I know we've got home advantage, but it's another cup final and Forest will see it as a good chance to progress as much as us - and they are a very good side.
"The result is great morally, but we've got to make sure we are on the ball on Monday night."