Hull manager Phil Brown was staying positive about his side`s chances of staving off relegation despite Stoke leaving the KC Stadium with a 2-1 win.
Andy Dawson pulled a goal back in injury-time for the Tigers but it was too little, too late and the defeat left them in serious danger of going down.
The Tigers have lost their last five games and won only once in 20. With Middlesbrough and Newcastle facing each other on Monday, they could be in the bottom three by the time they play at Bolton next week.
Brown said: "The most difficult part of the job is trying to maintain self belief.
"We have still got two games to go and all eyes will be on the game on Monday night. No doubt we want a draw from that game so it remains in our hands.
"It is a must-win game at the Reebok Stadium and we`ve got to get something from both remaining games. I'm still confident, still believing and have asked the players to keep the faith."