Arsenal vice-captain Gilberto believes a win over Manchester United on Sunday could be the springboard to an unlikely title challenge.
A victory at Emirates Stadium - in the game that is televised live on Sky Sports 1 - would still leave The Gunners 12 points shy of their pre-eminent rivals.
However Gilberto is aware that Arsenal squandered a similar advantage four years ago and the Brazilian midfielder is refusing to concede defeat in the Premiership title race.
"We need to take it step by step. To change our situation we have to win all 15 games we have remaining," Gilberto said in the Daily Star.
"Sunday will be very important for us. If we win, who knows what might happen. Maybe they could slip up, like we did in the 2002/03 season.
"We were 12 points ahead and then we dropped point after point and they caught up with us and won the league.
"But first of all we have to make sure we win our games, because unless we do that nothing can happen."
Gilberto will miss the crunch game due to suspension after being shown a red card for lashing out at Robbie Savage in the 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.
The holding midfielder admits he is still frustrated at the nature of his dismissal and has accused referee Rob Styles of making a serious error of judgement.
"What really frustrated me was I was kicked by Savage when I was on the floor after the referee had blown his whistle and stopped the game," Gilberto added.
"It's strange I get sent off after being kicked while I was on the floor when the game has stopped, yet the person who kicked me only gets a yellow card.
"I don't know who makes the rules but I think the referee made a big mistake."