Wellington Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay concedes his side have a fight on their hands just to qualify for the A-League playoffs, after an emphatic 4-0 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers.
Needing just one win from their last two matches to reach the finals, the Phoenix's fate will now go down to the final day, with an away trip to Macarthur FC.
At present, the Phoenix sit sixth on the table, occupying the final playoff spot, but could be passed by either Newcastle Jets or Western United, should they win by a large enough margin on Saturday.
However, Friday's defeat is symptomatic of a larger problem for the Phoenix.
At one point appearing certain to make the A-League finals for the second time in two seasons, Talay's side have now lost four of their last five games, with one draw.
Speaking post-match, Talay lamented his side's efforts, but says not all hope is lost in the race for the top six.
"To be honest it was a game where it was men vs boys," said Talay. "That's what it looked like from the sideline.
"We didn't win any of the second balls that dropped into midfield, we didn't defend the space well, we didn't defend one vs one well and conceded a very sloppy or easy goal again, which obviously made it a lot more difficult.
"It's not what we want at this stage of the season when we're fighting to get into the top six.
"We've got one more game to go. We haven't given up. We'll go all the way and try to get ourselves back into the mix."
Depending on Saturday's results, there are still seven teams in the mix for the final playoff spot, with six points separating fifth and 11th in the league standings.