Scunthorpe United boss Nigel Adkins urged his players to retain the belief that they can beat the drop, following a morale-sapping 3-2 defeat at Stoke City.
Goals from Martin Paterson and Jack Hobbs gave the Iron a two-goal lead at half-time, before the Potters powered back to take top spot in the Championship and leave the Iron still propping up the table.
Adkins said: "I'm feeling it and I'm really down at the moment.
"Nobody gave us a chance coming here, but the players were superb in the first half. Everyone thought we would get a good hiding, but that didn't happen.
"There are a lot of positives from that, but all the three goals we conceded in the second half could have been avoided. They were bad goals.
"Good luck to Stoke. They increased the tempo in the second half and they forced us to make errors and made it hard for us to keep the football.
"But I'm very proud of the players and our destiny remains in our own hands."