Gareth Ainsworth has set his Wycombe side a target of two wins from their last three games to avoid relegation following a 1-0 defeat at Rochdale.
The Chairboys were unfortunate not to take at least a share of the spoils at the Crown Oil Arena, where they were the better side for long periods.
Wycombe paid for their failure to take chances when Ian Henderson netted the 79th minute winner with Dale’s first shot on target.
It was a bitter blow to Ainsworth and pulled Wanderers back into the relegation mix, just two points above the drop zone.
“I’m sure we will stay up because we deserve to with those performances but that was hard to take,” said Ainsworth.
“At the final whistle you’ve got Rochdale people celebrating in your face and you have to try to keep your decorum. I don’t think they are safe after this result. If we can win two more games we’ll be safe, 53 points would be enough I’m sure.”
“I’m absolutely flabbergasted after that. The boys were fantastic and I can’t really fault them. We’ve got to keep the clean sheet and then at least you get a point and then when you get opportunities you have to stick it in the net.
“Moments will keep us in the division – they came for us today but we didn’t take them and then there was just one moment when we couldn’t keep them out.
“I couldn’t ask for any more effort from anybody and if we play like that in the last three games I am convinced we will stay in this division. We have three games to go and it’s down to us now.”
Scott Kashket curled a shot against the crossbar and later rounded Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Josh Lillis before rolling the ball towards an empty goal, Jim McNulty racing back to clear off the line.
But the decisive goal arrived in the 79th minute for the home side. Aaron Wilbraham’s header struck the crossbar, Rekeil Pyke’s follow up effort was saved and Henderson did the rest, firing home from close range.
“It was a really tough game, just what I expected it to be,” said Dale boss Brian Barry-Murphy.
“They have a great squad of players and I have an enormous amount of respect for them and I knew they would be fast starters. Our performance in the first half was not good from a technical point of view but it was good from the point of view of courage and resilience.
“We put our bodies on the line to make sure that we could go in at half time level and that gave us the foundation to build on in the second half when we were much more confident.
“I wouldn’t try to say that it was a great game of football, but it was exciting for the supporters and something they could be proud of.”