Harry Redknapp has refused to accept the idea that Queens Park Rangers will be relegated and believes his side are playing well enough to make his target of five wins from their last seven matches realistic.
QPR, who are seven points behind Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa after losing 3-2 at Fulham on Monday night, are on 23 points in 19th place and Redknapp said that 15 more points would be enough for them to stay up. However that is a tall order for a side who have managed only four league wins and he admitted that victory over Wigan at Loftus Road on Sunday is imperative.
"I still think while there is still hope you've got to keep going," Redknapp said. "You can't do anything else can you? You have to keep believing. We've got to just beat Wigan. I had a good talk with the players after the [Fulham] game. Told them that I still believe that we can do it. That is the key. That's my honest belief. If I didn't believe it I wouldn't say it. I know no one else does and maybe they think you are mad for believing it but that's what I believe in. We've got to win four home games. We need 15 points, which will get you out of it."
Redknapp claimed that his side need more luck, pointing to missed chances and defensive errors in the recent damaging defeats by Fulham and Villa. Two horrendous mistakes from the usually reliable Christopher Samba and an own goal by Clint Hill had left QPR 3-0 down after 41 minutes at Craven Cottage on Monday and goals from Adel Taarabt and Loïc Rémy were not enough to rescue a point.
"You need a bit of luck," Redknapp said, "as in anything in life. And I just feel you need the breaks at the right time. I have walked off after games myself and thought: 'How have I ever won that game? We got battered.' But when it's going your way that happens.
"When it's not going your way you play well and you get beat. You'll have a bet on the horses and, with your luck out, your horse will be 20 lengths clear coming to the last and it will fall. You know it's going to fall because that's how it is for you at that time of your life."
Few sides are as dangerous or unpredictable as Wigan at this stage of the season and Redknapp praised their chairman, Dave Whelan, for showing patience with Roberto Martínez during their more difficult moments.
This is Martinez's fourth season at Wigan and by contrast Redknapp became QPR's third manager since the start of last season after Mark Hughes was sacked in November.
"They've had continuity with the manager," Redknapp said. "He's been able to build his own team. You don't build a team in six months. You can't just come in and throw a load of players together and expect them to be a fantastic team unless you spend mega money and bring in the best players in the world. Probably at QPR they've made a lot of changes but Mark felt he had to bring in his own players."