Connacht have not won in the RaboDirect PRO12 since victory over Treviso on November 3 and with a game against 11th-placed Dragons, one spot below them, the importance of victory cannot be understated.
But after recent back-to-back defeats against Irish opposition, Elwood believes his side have learnt valuable lessons on how to perform in such important games and is challenging them to show it ahead of the league's one-month break.
The Dragons however have won just once at the Sportsground, on their first ever visit in May 2004, and with home support Elwood hopes the visitors will be overwhelmed on Saturday while his side are galvanised.
"This game against Dragons is a vitally important one for the club," said Elwood. "We're side by side at the bottom of the table so this is a huge game for both teams.
"Obviously, with us at home, the pressure is on us to win it. The key thing is that we learn from the mistakes of the last two derby matches that we've had. And the main focus for us this weekend is about getting everything right for ourselves to secure the win.
"We have to do our job on the pitch. But, as always, we look forward to people coming to support us at home. It's the first game of the 2013 year and we really appreciate the support we've had since the start of the season.
"For us this is a massive game. And we need people's support because it truly makes a difference for us and the boys when the crowd turn up and make noise."