He has not given up on automatic promotion but Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson admits it now needs a catastrophic meltdown from leaders Ross County for his team to claim top spot in the Championship.
The loss of an injury-time equaliser at the Staggies on Friday night saw the gap at the top of the second tier remain at five points.
With four games left for his team and five for their rivals, Robbie admits the chances of catching them are now very slim.
“There is still a chance, mathematically it’s still there. I think if Ross County don’t win the title it will be one of the biggest disasters we’ll ever see to be honest with you, because they are that far ahead.
“But there have been teams in the past who have clawed things back in the last few weeks of a season.”
Realistically for United, it is now about making second spot secure so there is one less play-off tie to be faced as they try to get promotion via that route.
Victory over Ayr United at Tannadice on Friday evening would go a long way to achieving that goal.
“We can only look after ourselves and try to win against Ayr United on Friday night. Then we take the games after that and see where we are,” said Robbie.
“We have to take Friday on the chin, move on and try to win against Ayr now because they have beaten us three times this season. If we put that performance on again we have a good chance.”
What made the Dingwall trip so frustrating was that for 90 minutes-plus, United dominated County.
Ahead after an early Pavol Safranko goal, they missed a string of chances before Jamie Lindsay equalised deep into the six minutes of injury time referee Steven McLean decided to play.
Robbie felt that was excessive but refused to blame the official.
“When we’ve been chasing a game we only get four minutes but it was six minutes. Steven decides what he’s going to do and, ultimately, he makes the decision on it and it’s up to us to defend it better. On the performance we deserved to win it but, as football is sometimes, if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net then it is always going to be a nervous time at the end.”