Carlisle United boss Graham Kavanagh admitted his side were all-but relegated after a 0-0 draw at Crawley Town left them three points from safety going into their final match of the season.
United must beat champions Wolves at Molineux on Saturday to give themselves a chance of goal-difference survival.
Kavanagh's men have won only one of their last 14 matches and, when asked if staying up was now beyond them, the Irishman replied: "It looks like it. It definately looks like it.
"We had an horrendous March and April and we didn't get the results we wanted."
Carlisle, who have only won four times since the turn of the year, came closest when midfielder Liam Noble hit the crossbar shortly after the break.
Kavanagh had no complaints at his side's effort and said: "It was a gallant and energetic performance despite us not getting the win we needed.
"I wanted us to play as though we were relegated as we have been under so much pressure.
"When you are in our position with young and inexperienced players in the side it carries a lot of responsibility and that impacts on performances. It's desperately sad that it looks like we're going to lose our fight."
Kavanagh revealed he left out striker Lee Miller for disciplinary reasons and has not decided whether the Scot will be involved in the squad for Saturday's match at Wolves.
The Carlisle boss has taken the action after Miller failed to attend a team meeting following last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat against Oldham.
Crawley manager John Gregory felt his side should have won the game "6-0" and reckoned it was an opportunity lost.
The former Aston Villa boss wrote on the marker board afterwards that it should have been 6-0.
He said: "For a 0-0 it wasn't too bad to watch but for a manager it was frustrating.
"We're not good against sides in the bottom half of the table, our record is pretty awful. We've ended up with a 0-0 instead of a 6-0 victory.
"With all due respect to Carlisle they came here knowing that they had to win. As a manager and a coach, had they played like that earlier on they would have finished in the top half of the table.
"You have to go into every game the same. If Carlisle had played like that they wouldn't be fighting a relegation battle."
Gregory is looking for his side to finish strongly at home to Bristol City on Saturday and said: "Bristol City are in a healthy position now and I am sure they will be a very hard team to beat next season .It will be a good test."