Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp admitted the battle for Premier League safety is a mission "almost impossible" after falling 2-0 to Stoke.
And the 66-year-old has compounded the club's misery even further by predicting a bleak life in the Championship if relegation fears are realised.
With only one point from their last four games, QPR needed to start claiming victories to begin an ascent up the table.
But despite welcoming Tony Pulis' out-of-form side, who have also claimed only a point in its last four games, QPR failed to ignite a late season charge, Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters sinking Redknapp's side at Loftus Road.
And after the game, Redknapp did not hide his assessment of the club's bid to survive the drop.
"It looks in tatters, doesn't it?" he noted to BBC Sport. "But we've got to try to win a game or two.
"We've got to go to Reading next week and try to win. We've got to keep going."
However, Redknapp said he has enjoyed the challenge of trying to keep the club in the Premier League, and believed he could fashion a competitive side to fight for Championship honours if he was still in charge next season.
But he quickly doused any hopes of QPR quickly strolling back into England's elite competition.
"It's difficult but life is not always fun," he continued. "What am I going to do [if I leave QPR] - play golf every day?
"I've enjoyed it, even though it has been difficult, but you don't walk into a side that hasn't won for 13 games and start winning every week.
"When people say this team will come straight back up next year, I'm afraid they are talking rubbish. There needs to be an awful lot of work done over the summer to put the club back into a position to challenge again next season.
"I think I could put a team together here that would have a real chance of getting up but it's not going to be easy."
Meanwhile, Redknapp said he was satisfied with his team's performance against Stoke, but believed victory always going to be difficult against the Potters.
"I couldn't have asked for any more - we gave everything we had, worked hard and in the first half we were the better team," Redknapp told reporters after the match.
"We lost two key players - Adel Taarabt and Andros Townsend - with injuries and without them we were short of a little bit of quality."