YOU don't win five Bendigo Football League premierships in a row like Golden Square without being able to perform in big games.
While the stakes aren't as high as September, the Bulldogs face a crucial home and away clash on Sunday when they host Eaglehawk at MyJet Oval.
The Bulldogs and Hawks are both locked on three wins apiece, with Eaglehawk keeping the defending champions out of the top five on percentage entering their round seven clash.
Not only would a victory propel the Bulldogs into the top five for the first time this season, it would also be back-to-back wins following last week's 51-point triumph over Maryborough.
"We're still going through that readjustment phase. There were some positive signs last week and still some things to work on, but the boys were happy to get a win and have been upbeat on the track," Golden Square coach Nick Carter said on Friday.
"Coming up against Eaglehawk... there's a good rivalry there and we always enjoy going into battle against them.
"The fact we are out of the five and they are in the five, it means there's a lot more to play for, so the game comes at a good time for us."
As for that big-game experience the Bulldogs have built during their reign of domination: "The guys who have been around for a while have shown they can rise to the occasion," Carter said.
"We've got some new guys at the club and younger guys who need to understand that when the big games are on, good players play well and that will certainly be part of the challenge I throw at the guys this week."
Eaglehawk has made five changes to the side that lost to Gisborne by 16 points last week.