Queen's Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp admits he is already planning for life in the Championship even if his side beat fellow-strugglers Reading in Sunday's relegation showdown at the Madejski Stadium.
Redknapp's team sit a place above bottom side Royals on goal difference, with both sides 10 points from safety and knowing a win this weekend would see their opponents go down.
Redknapp, 64, has grown more downbeat about QPR's survival chances in recent weeks and, with just four games to go, he is realistic when he considers the prospect of the west London club sliding out of the Premier League.
"You're never switching off, you're thinking about next year and how you'll get a team that will get us back out of that league," Redknapp said.
"You're looking around to find players who will get us back into the Premier League, where we want to be.
"We've got the summer so there's no excuses really. We've got to get the right players and get it right.
"We'll only let people go we want to let go. The ones we want to keep, we'll keep them. People have got contracts."
While Redknapp is resigned to relegation, he has warned his players they are fighting for their own futures at the club over the next few weeks.
"It's a difficult situation but we've got to keep playing. We're not downing tools. It's important," he said.
"I'm looking at people as well, with next year in mind, and they've all got a lot of play for.
"It's difficult now, but we want to pick up as many points as we can.
"The last few games have knocked us out a bit and it's been disappointing. Now it's gone. But we've got to keep going.
"People think you're going to go back down and come straight back up, but look at that division. It's full of quality and tradition - big, big clubs.
"It will be very difficult to come back up - that's the aim - but you're not going to do it by just dreaming.
"It will be a big challenge but it's a good club with good people, but it will be tough. You're not going to just walk through the league."
Redknapp's task against Reading will be made even more difficult without the services of injured on-loan Tottenham winger Andros Townsend.
A win would put an end to a run of just one point in their last six matches, whereas Royals are without a victory since February 2 when they beat Sunderland 2-1.
The Royals will be without injured trio Adam Federici, Hope Akpan and Jimmy Kebe, while Jason Roberts is unavailable after hip surgery earlier this year.
New Reading boss Nigel Adkins is still searching for his first win, but he remains more upbeat than Redknapp about his club's survival hopes.
"We've got a great game on the weekend at home. The lads have been working hard and we're out to get three points," Adkins said.
And when questioned to if he was resigned to their own fate in the second tier, a bullish Adkins replied: "You've certainly not seen it on my face - we're always building towards the future.
"We're not down first of all. We're looking at one game at a time and the attitude and application on the training ground has been first class."