Des Hasler will rack up his longest losing streak in almost a decade if Canterbury lose to Parramatta on Friday night.
Hasler's Bulldogs have lost four games in a row and could be knocked out of the top eight if they lose to their arch rivals at ANZ Stadium.
The two-time premiership-winning coach has not lost five matches in a row as coach since 2005, when Manly recorded a losing streak which spanned rounds 16 to 21 (the Sea Eagles had a bye in round 20).
A longer Hasler losing streak came the previous year, when the Sea Eagles lost six straight.
The Bulldogs, then rocked by the Ben Barba saga, last year lost four in a row from round three but recovered to make the finals, only to be eliminated in the first week.
This year's slump is more surprising given the "Family Club" was near the top of the table for much of the season.
Fullback Sam Perrett said Hasler was just the man to turn around a disturbing dip in form.
"He's always very intense and working really hard to come up with the solutions and the best answer for us," Perrett said.
"We're really lucky to have someone like 'Dessie' backing us. We're going to be working on our stuff and he's got some more plans for us to work on. We all believe in that wholeheartedly so we're just going to keep on working at it."
Canterbury's chances of qualifying for the finals received a second blow with the three-week suspension of NSW playmaker Josh Reynolds as he will join injured prop Sam Kasiano on the sidelines.
Parramatta, meanwhile, will likely replace the Dogs in the top eight if they build on their own streak of three successive wins.
"They rolled us last time with their State of Origin players missing so we won't be taking them lightly, that's for sure," forward Josh Jackson said.
"They've got a big pack and a lot of quality players there."
Asked whether he was concerned about missing the top eight, Jackson said "It's a bit worrying. We were having a good patch there for a while and we've lost four in a row ... If we'd played well in those games we probably wouldn't be too worried about it."
The Bulldogs play Parramatta at ANZ Stadium, Wests Tigers (home game), South Sydney (home) and the Gold Coast (away) in their run to the finals.
NSW centre Josh Morris said it was not enough to just limp into the play-offs. A winning momentum had to be generated to ensure the blue and whites were a genuine title threat.
"We need to get back to winning and make sure we're not going into the finals just to make up the numbers, we want to win four in a row and head into the finals with that momentum," Morris said.
"We don't want to go out in week one as we did last year."
Former Eel Reni Maitua will face his former club after being added to the Canterbury bench, as will fellow forward Pat O'Hanlon, who was punted as part of former coach Ricky Stuart's cleanout of the blue and golds.
DES HASLER'S LONGEST LOSING STREAKS AS A COACH
Lost five in a row in 2005 – rounds 16 to 21 (team had a bye in Round 20)
Lost six in a row in 2004 – rounds two to seven
Lost four in a row in 2014 – rounds 19 to 22 (current)
Lost four in a row in 2013 – rounds three to six