The fans and media may be quick to remind the Crusaders they haven't won the Super title in four seasons, but halfback Andy Ellis says that's not where pressure comes from.
The All Black, who will play his 90th Super match when the Crusaders meet the Blues tonight in Auckland, said it came from within the team.
"It's the pressure that we put on each other and ourselves - the guys are really tough on each other and tough on ourselves," he said.
"We know what a proud rugby club this is, and we know what is expected from each other and from the people."
The Crusaders have made the play-offs in all four seasons Todd Blackadder has been in charge, and successful Canterbury NPC coach Tabai Matson and former All Black Aaron Mauger have been added to the coaching mix this season as they look to refresh their game.
Matson and Mauger had helped a lot of the players understand what the team was trying to achieve, said Ellis.
"We've got a really clear game plan now, everyone's on the same page, and we know how we want to play.
"I think that really helps going in with that real clarity, and Toddy's just so good at talking to the team and managing the team and bringing the team together and creating that real special culture.
"So there's a good mix now between what Tabs [Matson] and Azza [Mauger] are doing and what Toddy does, and it feels good - but it all means nothing until we front up at the weekend."
Looking back on last year, Ellis said they did not always execute that well and got a little bit lost after multiple phases.
"Now we have kind of got systems and structures in place to hopefully take care of that. And it's good, it's a nice exciting up-tempo style of game where we get the ball in our outsides' hands a lot, and go and have some fun."
Ellis said this style meant the halfback "getting worked, getting reamed".
"I know I've got to roll my sleeves up and work extra hard, make breakdowns, move ball and play with that kind of tempo the team wants to play with."
The Crusaders could win the 2013 title and had the skeleton already, but it will take a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, he said.