Wayne Rooney says everyone in the Derby County squad must continue to believe they can achieve a top six finish this season.
Derby fell to a 3-1 defeat to automatic promotion chasers Brentford at Pride Park Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The loss leaves the Rams on the fringes of the top six, three points adrift of Cardiff City in sixth place, with three matches remaining in the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship season.
Phillip Cocu’s side must travel to Cardiff on Tuesday night, before facing league leaders Leeds United at Pride Park Stadium next Sunday and then Birmingham City away from home on the final day of the season a week on Wednesday.
Derby’s skipper, who is one of the most decorated players in English football history, insists the Rams should not give up on their play-off dream just yet.
“We must believe, of course,” Rooney told RamsTV after the loss to Brentford.
“There is still the opportunity to make the play-offs. We have to keep working until that is not the case.
“We have got a quick turnaround with the game coming up on Tuesday at Cardiff City, so we have to get ready for that and prepare well.
“We have been disappointed with the last three games; we have played some good stuff but at this stage of the season you need to be more decisive and more clinical when you get chances and stay in games.
“I feel, certainly in the last two games, that we haven’t really given ourselves the chance not doing that and conceding too many goals.”
The loss to Brentford was Derby’s third home loss of the season and their first on home turf in the league in 2020.
Ollie Watkins tapped in his 24th league goal of the season to give Brentford an early lead after Bryan Mbeumo's shot hit the post.
Youngster Jason Knight ran onto Rooney's pass to fire home an equaliser, but Brentford were back in front straight after the break when Said Benrahma's shot squirmed through the hands of Rams goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Benrahma’s stunning strike from distance just after the hour mark then sealed all three points for the visitors.
“We were disappointed to go one down early on but I felt it was a great reaction after that,” Rooney said.
“We got the goal back and felt we were in control of the game going into half time. They had some spells but didn’t really cause us that many issues.
“The second goal changes the game and makes it more difficult for us and we have to go for it. The third goal was a fantastic strike then you are chasing the game to try and get something out of it.”
He added: “We are disappointed with the loss.”