Fulham boss Chris Coleman is desperate for his side to avoid the unwanted record of going through the entire season without an away victory in the Premiership.
Coleman makes no secret of the fact that it would be one of the low points of his football career.
He admitted: “I would be gutted.
“It would be something that we could never put right afterwards. Once it’s done, it’s done.
“It’s never happened to me before. I’ve suffered relegation, I’ve suffered being knocked out of semi-finals – FA Cup and Carling Cup – and it’s a killer but that would be the worst for me if we went through the season without winning away from home.”
Fulham, with their only other remaining away game at Liverpool, appear to have their best chance of ending their travelling hoodoo with Saturday’s visit to Sunderland, who have the even worse agony of not having won at home this campaign.
Coleman has laid down the challenge to his players but he insists he has not put additional pressure on them by opening his heart.
“It’s not putting any extra pressure on the players,” he said.
“It can’t get any greater for them because they know themselves but, for me personally, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth.”
A draw would leave both clubs with their unwanted records but he candidly accepted: “I’d rather have that than one-nil against us.”
With five games to play, Fulham’s young boss believes that his side still need two wins to make mathematically sure of avoiding relegation – and their appalling away record and inconsistency is to blame for them being in that position.
“We can beat Chelsea but we can lose to the teams at the bottom, unfortunately, and that’s why we haven’t been in the top 10. Forget about injuries or suspensions, we’ve not been consistent enough,” said Coleman who knows that Sunderland will be battling to salvage something of their shattered reputations.
“Sunderland know if they lose and the results elsewhere go against them they are down. They’re going to come for us, we know that, because they can’t afford to lose.”
Coleman counts Sunderland’s caretaker manager Kevin Ball among the friends from his playing days.
But he said: “Kevin will be telling that to his players and he will have Sunderland ready for us. He was a player here, a very committed player, a very tough boy.
“He was an excellent captain and he was captain of Sunderland for a long time, somebody I got on very well with and we have maintained our friendship since he left.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Kevin but I’m not thinking about Sunderland and relegation, I’m thinking about Fulham and putting our season to bed. It’s about us putting in the type of performance we’re capable of.”