Stewart Downing believes Middlesbrough can still avoid relegation by winning their final two games of the season.
Boro lost Monday night's crucial North East derby against fellow strugglers Newcastle and remain three points adrift of safety.
Downing accepts that it is a dreadful situation but he has refused to make excuses and is looking to do whatever he can to help the club.
The winger feels there were positives to take from the performance at St James' Park and insists Boro can beat Aston Villa and West Ham to stay in the top flight.
"It has to be two wins and if we play like we did first half and cut the sloppy mistakes out, we have a bit of a chance but have to rely on others as well," Downing told The Gazette.
"It's a horrible position to be in, but it's not about just this game, it's over the 36 games that we've played so far - we haven't done it.
"It's about the start of the season and the middle of the season; that's why we're in the position we're in."
Downing expects terrific backing from the fans in Saturday's home game against Villa after they helped to create a superb
atmosphere at Newcastle.
He said: "The fans were brilliant and they've been brilliant for months to be fair.
"We just have to win our next two games, it's that simple, and rely on what goes on around us. It's a home game on Saturday and the fans will hopefully get behind us.
"It's going to be disappointing for them that we've lost at Newcastle but there's a slim chance and if we beat Aston Villa and see what happens with the weekend results, that will paint more of a clear picture of how the season will end."