Sammy Donnelly admits Shoreham Football Club face a tall order if they are to remain in the Bostik League South this season.
Mussels took another step towards relegation as they went down 1-0 at Sittingbourne on Saturday.
The defeat - coupled with second from bottom Molesey picking up a point at play-off chasing Phoenix Sports - leaves Donnelly’s side 14 points adrift with just nine games to go.
If Mussels are to pull off an unlikely escape this season, Donnelly knows his side must start picking up points - and quickly.
He said: “We know how tough it is going to be now but as I’ve said all along this season, we won’t be giving up until it’s mathematically impossible.
“I don’t want players playing for me who don’t want to win and we’ll be doing all we can to try and get out of the situation we find ourselves in.
“Even if we are to be relegated, it’s still about trying to pick up as many points as we can between now and the end of the season.
“I knew how big of a step up this would be but I think it’s been bigger than some people were expecting.
“We’ve lost a lot of games by the odd goal this season or conceded late to miss out on victory, all we can do in these final matches is continue to give it our all.”
Shoreham set up with a changed 5-4-1 formation at Sittingbourne and frustrated their hosts’ in an uneventful first 45 minutes.
It took Sittingbourne just six minutes to break the deadlock after the restart, Germaine Dua getting the goal which would prove the winner.
Shoreham stuck to their task, pushing for a way back in but the home side stood firm.
Donnelly cursed a momentary lapse which cost his team at Sittingbourne and said: “We started out with a 5-4-1 formation and frustrated them in the first-half. All of our hard-work was undone early in the second half and it was a long way back from that point.
“We were slow out after half-time, which proved costly. The players gave their all and that is all I can ask.
“We’ve found it hard to score goals this season, so trying to find a way back in to the game proved difficult.”
Shoreham travel to Faversham Town for a league clash on Tuesday (7.45pm).