Ulster captain Rory Best believes that Friday's Magners League clash away to Connacht could define a season already fraught with disappointment.
'We have to win the game, there is no other way around it,' said Best whose side must finish ahead of Connacht to guarantee European Cup qualification.
'We cannot allow the gap at the bottom to open up. This is probably our biggest game all season now.
'Connacht will be gunning for us. They see us as their chance to progress.'
Ulster are at present languishing at the bottom of the Magners League with only six points from six games with Connacht a point better off.
The top three Irish provinces qualify for the Heineken Cup while the fourth go into the European Challenge Cup.
Connacht have yet to play in the main competition although under coach Michael Bradley, they have shown some excellent form.
'We came back into work on Monday and got straight back into training, and we have to push on because we have a massive game on Friday.
'We showed a bit of form against Bourgoin last week, now we have to transfer that, start the same as we did in France and push ahead.
'The first 40 minutes against Bourgoin was as good as rugby as we have played in 18 months.'