Brentford will know what the rest of their season will hold in 10 days time as they face their biggest week of the season.
The Bees will be travelling 1,000 miles and facing three opponents with contrasting ambitions in Sunderland, Birmingham and Leeds.
The Black Cats are deep in the relegation mire while the Blues are just keeping their heads above water. Leeds, on the other hand, need to rally and show their play-off ambitions.
The gap between Brentford and the top six is just eight points and it's not insurmountable but it can't grow any bigger between now and 5pm on February 24. Dean Smith knows that as well.
He said before the Preston game: “I spoke to the players a couple of weeks ago that we've had good Aprils. These are the important times – February and March as they will keep you amongst it.
“It's important that we're amongst it. Come April, with the way we play the rest will take care of itself.”
Sunderland will be desperate to build on their 'Bristanbul' moment last weekend when they came from 3-0 down to rescue a point at Bristol City.
Home form has been a problem for the Black Cats, who have picked up just 11 points from 15 games winning just two of them, and fans up there have been unhappy with the way the club has been run at board level.
The key for victory at the Stadium of Light will be to silence the home fans and make them nervous before breaking them down.
The home game with Birmingham on February 20 will be one the fans want to win the most after Harlee Dean, Jota and Maxime Colin moved there in the final hours of the summer transfer window.
The Blues have picked up in recent weeks, coinciding with installing Dean as their captain, and will provide a sterner test than earlier in the season.
It promises to be an exciting game under the lights at Griffin Park. Bees fans taunted their former skipper at St Andrews earlier in the season and it promises to be an interesting reception in TW8.
Leeds' form has been patchy in recent weeks and Thomas Christiansen has paid the price with the club sacking him and replacing him with Paul Heckingbottom.
It's not a move that has paid off yet but Elland Road in an intimidating place to visit at the best of times.
Leeds fans, though, are quick to turn on their team and that's a weakness Brentford need to exploit.
All three fixtures are winnable and, if the Bees are to achieve nine points, hope will rise again that a top six berth isn't beyond them.
If the gap increases then it appears that a boring end to the season is on the cards for Dean Smith's side.