Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has pledged that his side will keep fighting to secure their Premier League status.
The 2-0 defeat at Fulham meant the west Londoners leapfrogged Blues out of the bottom three and left Blues facing probable relegation next Sunday on the final day of the season.
Even if McLeish's side overcome Blackburn at St Andrew's, they must pray Derby County and Portsmouth do them a favour against Reading and Fulham respectively if they are to beat the drop, but the Blues boss said his team would not lay down and die yet.
"There is still an opportunity for us," he said. "It is not in our hands but it wasn't in our hands before this defeat because if Bolton and Reading had won their games then there would have been nothing we could do."
The Blues players never troubled Fulham keeper Kasey Keller throughout the 90 minutes and cut dejected figures as they slumped off the Craven Cottage pitch, but McLeish said he would have no problems lifting their morale ahead of the vital season finale. "I have never had a problem picking the team up for home games, after an away defeat or a draw," he said. "It has never been a problem.
"They know what is at stake, the club's Premier League status is their goal and they have to do everything in their power to win because if we don't win and other results go for us it will be even worse."
Once again it was defensive errors that cost Blues dearly as substitute Franck Queudrue allowed Fulham captain Brian McBride to elude him for the first goal and then his woeful defensive header gave Erik Nevland the opportunity to seal the win for the Cottagers.
"At half time I thought we were fine but then we got undone with another set-piece," McLeish said. "It was difficult [for Queudrue] to come on in those circumstances but to lose the second goal when we were chasing the game killed us."
Even if Blues are relegated next week McLeish has been told his job is safe. Chairman David Gold said that the club had every intention of giving the former Scotland manager the opportunity to plot Blues' return to the Premier League if the worst does happen. He also hinted that the current board was prepared to listen to serious bids for the club if the potential buyers were of the right financial calibre.
He said: "If Birmingham are relegated we will stick with Alex. The tradition of Birmingham is that in the board's 16 years in charge we've fired only two managers.
"We have great faith and believe in Alex and his backroom staff. We lost our management but the one silver lining is we managed to get a management team, headed by Alex, which we've got great faith in and we look forward to the future.
"[Had Steve Bruce been in charge] we may still have been in the position we are today. After all, it's basically the same team.
"There is every chance we may already have been relegated. We're in a situation now where we do have a chance of survival.
"There's no denying the board made mistakes by allowing the (Carson Yeung) takeover to take some three months to collapse. We would never make the mistake we made last time. The only way we would sell the football club now would be to a seriously wealthy owner with the potential to take this club forward."