Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted his job may be under threat if Manchester United fail to beat Wigan in Sunday's Carling Cup final in Cardiff.
Sir Alex Ferguson targets his second League Cup triumph
With United's European and FA Cup hopes over and the Premiership title all but out of reach, the Carling Cup is this season's remaining chance for a trophy.
"A year without a trophy is too long. More than a day without winning is too long," Ferguson told the Sunday Mirror.
"Winning is all that keeps you in a job. That's the pressure we're under."
United have often used the Carling Cup as a finishing school for their young stars but, with their chances diminishing in other competitions, this season has seen a change of emphasis and Ferguson admits it is deliberate ploy.
"There are only four trophies available every year," he explained.
"With the competition now generated in the Premier League and the money thrown at it there is a tremendous demand and pressure on all these clubs with great histories to win a trophy."
But Ferguson insisted: "Winning one trophy is good, I'm telling you.
"No matter what it is, you have to take that as a successful season because there are teams who aren't going to win a trophy this year - big clubs."
And Ferguson believes this heightened competitiveness, which he attributes to United's 1999 European Cup triumph, has made the Carling Cup more attractive to the big clubs.
"We had a great spell in the 1990s, a phenomenal spell, but from that moment of winning the European Cup there was a catch-up by all clubs, realising a British team could win the European Cup," he said.
"It was great for British football because of that but it also created a far bigger demand from other clubs to do the same and we are facing stiffer opposition now."
For Wigan, the pressures are not as great, but with the prospect of a first major trophy in front of them, Ferguson accepts they will have the public's support for an underdog on their side.
"We understand and it's quite right Wigan are bringing a bit of romance to it with what they have achieved over the years," he added.
"The drive of chairman Dave Whelan and the management of Paul Jewell have made them an outstanding team this year.
"Quite rightly the whole country will be behind them and I think that's good."