England will go into today's crucial ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight match against New Zealand in no doubt about what is required.
Only a victory will give them reasonable prospects of progressing to the knockout stages, and defeat - if Sri Lanka also beat West Indies later on at Pallekele - will spell the end of their attempt to defend the only International Cricket Council trophy they have ever won.
As well as those stark truths, England's top-order batsmen can also expect some straight talking from captain Stuart Broad, who said: "What we have to do is stop losing early wickets. It has not been the same guy every time, but the number three has been in in the first couple of overs in every game we've played - which is not good enough. That can really hurt you."
Although both Alex Hales - in Thursday's 15-run defeat against West Indies - and previously his opening partner Craig Kieswetter have made significant contributions, they have done so in their turns rather than together.
Broad believes England can learn from West Indies' master blaster Chris Gayle.
"You watch the best striker in the world in Chris Gayle - he never goes from ball one, does he?" he said. "He has a little look, assesses the wicket ... then explodes.
"I think we haven't got that quite right yet, but it is important we do get that right in this match.
"We need to take a bit more responsibility and protect the wickets - especially in that first over - because it's not like we've been got out. Some of the [batters'] decisions in that first over have been pretty poor."
Broad, however, will not easily forsake players he is convinced are capable of much better.
"I am a believer in backing people, and you pick the players who you believe will do the job," he said. "In must-win games, you need guys who are confident and you are confident can do the job ... you do need guys you believe can win you that game. It is a must-win game."