Valenciennes fell five points adrift of safety in Ligue 1 following their defeat to high-flying Lille over the weekend but Ariel Jacobs insists his struggling side have not given up hope of avoiding the drop.
VA saw a three-match unbeaten run come to an end, although only Ronny Rodelin's strike just after half-time separated the sides.
While Valenciennes are still firmly entrenched in the bottom three, boss Jacobs has demanded they bounce back at Nantes on Tuesday.
``We have not lost all hope of staying up,'' he said.
``The players are disappointed (by the loss to Lille). At half-time, we thought we could do better but we took a brick to the head right at the start of the second half.
``But we have the chance to get back on track on Tuesday and we will need to give everything in that game. We must never give up.''
Jacobs will not be able to call upon the services of Anthony Le Tallec, who was taken off on a stretcher against Lille with a hamstring injury.
The former Liverpool and Auxerre forward is to undergo an MRI scan to determine the severity of the problem although it is thought he will be out for the rest of the year.
He joins fellow striker Opa Nguette as well as defender Rudy Mater on the sidelines.
Valenciennes can take heart from the form of Nantes, who sit sixth in the table despite suffering back-to-back losses to Monaco and Guingamp respectively.
Not surprisingly, Les Canaris boss Michel Der Zakarian is targeting a return to winning ways.
He said: ``We play against a direct competitor. For us to extend the distance that separates us, the objective of the game tomorrow is to win.
``We must play well as we did in Guingamp.''
Defender Gabriel Cichero (quadriceps) and forward Ismael Bangoura (head) are likely to miss the encounter although there are slight hopes midfielder Lucas Deaux can shake off a hamstring injury.