Owen Coyle admits that it has been his most challenging season as a manager but recognises that the relegation picture will change drastically if Bolton can beat Aston Villa.
The Trotters are currently four points adrift of safety, and six behind Villa, but have at least one game in hand on all their fellow strugglers.
They have the chance to boost their survival hopes with a home win on Tuesday night and Coyle has called on his team to take charge of their own destiny and not wait for favours from elsewhere.
Looking forward to the clash with Villa, Coyle said: "It's massive. If we get a positive result then the whole picture changes very quickly.
"We're not relying on anyone, we're relying on ourselves and if you want anything done then you're better doing it yourself and that's what we have to do.
"We understand the margins in this Premier League and we have to make sure that we get three points rather than one when the opportunities come about."
The fixture was initially postponed as Bolton recovered from the trauma of Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest, and Coyle concedes that it has been his toughest campaign both on and off the pitch.
"It's been the most challenging season I've known," he said. "We're in the best league in the world and huge uncontrollables go against you. Of course it makes it more difficult.
"This year has been a freak season, starting in pre-season with the cruciates and the leg breaks and everything else but we've dealt with it all. We've got five games to decide our own fate.
"We've shown we can win these points and that will be enough to keep us in this league and that would be an unbelievable end to a very difficult season for a number of reasons."