Kilmarnock manager Tommy Wright feels his side only have an outside chance of finishing in the coveted 10th spot in the Scottish Premiership.
Killie slipped back into the bottom two after going down 2-0 to Motherwell, who took a deserved lead through Devante Cole and wrapped up the points with a late Stephen O’Donnell effort.
Wins elsewhere for Hamilton and Ross County ensured there are just three points separating the bottom three with two matches left.
Wright’s side host St Mirren on May 12 while County and Accies face each other in Dingwall, and Killie then travel to Lanarkshire to take on the current bottom club.
“The positive is we now have 10-11 days before that game and we have got to make sure we win the next game,” he said.
“If we win the last two then we will certainly make the play-offs and it will give us an outside chance of making 10th spot.
“This wasn’t a good performance, it wasn’t shocking, but there were players who can do a lot better.
“But there was effort, we never let our heads go down. We know we have put ourselves back in the hole that we got out of the other week.”
There were plenty of positives for Motherwell boss Graham Alexander as his side moved up to seventh with their third league win since the split.
Holding midfielder Sam Foley impressed on his full debut while Jake Hastie produced arguably his best display of the season as Alexander was rewarded for his attacking formation, which had Steven Lawless playing just off a front three.
“The team’s been on a good run but there’s been some great training performances from certain players that have been knocking on the door,” Alexander said. “I felt it was an opportunity to reward them for how they have trained.
“We leave the team to the last minute because I look at how people are training, because it encourages me that they are going to perform like that in a game. And they certainly did.
“That was Sam’s first game in a long, long time but with the way he trains, he keeps himself in form.
“Jake Hastie has been putting in extra work behind the scenes to get back in the team and I thought he was a real threat.
“The front four were a constant threat. We wanted to try something a little bit different and we are delighted it worked. It gives us food for thought, we can adapt our shape and style and still win games.”