It takes a man of great faith not to give up on your team when all seems lost.

And Wolverhampton Wanderers' hopes of winning promotion from the Championship right now would test even the most devout believers.

Effectively, thanks to a massively inferior goal difference to all the teams in the play-off pack, Wolves are nine points shy of where they need to be with just five games left. The only thing left, seemingly, is to take to the prayer mats.

But Glenn Hoddle is that man. The Wolves manager might be accused of having taken leave of his senses in the more cynical quarters of the Black Country. But Hoddle has not given up on making the play-offs.

Using the sort of psychological warfare that is good enough for Sir Alex Ferguson, Hoddle even likens the position to Manchester United's pursuit of Chelsea.

Forget the fact that the gap between Preston North End and Wolves is actually growing at roughly the same rate as the one between United and Chelsea is shrinking, Hoddle's latest sermon to the Molineux faithful is not to give up hope.

And his plan to turn it round is a simple one . . . to beat Coventry City and Watford at Molineux in Wolves' next two matches, hoping that North End slip up at home to Norwich and also at Leicester . . . then to overpower Preston at Deep-dale on Easter Monday.

And Hoddle's prophesy could, of course, all still happen. "If Man United are still chasing Chelsea over seven points," he said, "then why should we be out of it over eight?

"We need to go to Preston still in the shake-up. And there are six points up for grabs before that. If we win two and they lose two, there's a different complexion.

"Even if we went there maybe four points behind we could then beat them and get it down to one. Until it's mathematically impossible we go on.

"And too many things have happened to me in football to suggest this is over. I've managed a team that were 4-1 down with 20 minutes to go and won 6-4."

Wolves fans know better than anyone how quickly things can change at this time of year. The 11-points they let slip with seven games left to blow automatic promotion four years ago altered the whole direction of the club's recent history.

But Hoddle also admits that, if his hopes are to have any chance of becoming reality, things must improve on the last two sorry showings.

"The big downside is that the pressure has been relieved on Preston and we've only got ourselves to blame.

"We've shown the players the video of Saturday's defeat and they saw how lacklustre their performance was. I don't think they realised how much they went walkabout.

"It was unacceptable. And, if that doesn't act as a wake-up call then you're not a professional."