Jon Walters says it is vital for Republic of Ireland to record positive results against both Sweden and Austria this week and next.
Giovanni Trapattoni's side take on the Swedes in Stockholm on Friday before hosting Austria in Dublin on Tuesday and the Stoke City midfielder is well aware that the two fixtures are paramount in the Irish putting their best foot forward for 2014 World Cup qualification.
"If we go there and we are beaten by Sweden and we don't turn up against Austria and are beaten there, we are not going to get second place, are we?" he said.
"We need to go and get the points, so it will be a pivotal week for us. We will know more come Tuesday night.
"We have got to go and get the results we need and if we don't, we all know the consequences of that.
"Germany are way above most teams in the world and I think the group is theirs, so a lot of teams are fighting now for second place," he added.
"You have got to pick your points up where you can. It's going to be a difficult test for us, but they are two major games we are going into and we need to get the points out of them."
Ireland currently sit third in Group C, a point behind second-placed Sweden, four in arrears of leaders Germany and two clear of fourth-placed Austria.