Micky Adams is targeting four wins from Tranmere’s final eight games as they try and save their season.
Rovers are still outside the League Two relegation zone after suffering defeat to Burton at Prenton Park.
And although losing to the leaders is no disgrace, it is perhaps the score line that will have sent shockwaves round the terraces.
The hosts were heavily beaten and Adams was left lamenting defensive cock-ups that cost them the game.
“You could look at it at 4-1 and say we’ve been battered there,” he said.
“But I don’t think that was the case.
“They were clinical and it was key moments in the game that could have altered the game.
“I felt, and I was in front of the ball, that the ball was out of play on the near touchline before they scored their first.
“And obviously the penalty miss, so defining moments.
“When they’ve got their chances, they put them away, when we probably need more chances than them to score.
“But certainly you’ve got to defend better, there’s no doubt about that.”
There was a period after half-time where Rovers dominated, and but for Max Power’s missed penalty at 2-1, things could have been different.
These are the small margins that Adams is talking about that could determine whether or not they stay up.
But he is reassuring fans, perhaps those who vacated Prenton Park after the fourth was scored, that losing to Burton will not be make or break.
“People probably won’t want to hear this, but today’s not a game that’s going to define what happens to you for the rest of the season,” he continued.
“We’re playing a team that’s top of the table.
“Do they think that we’re playing one of the dead men? We’re not.
“We’re playing a quality side who’ve got a lot of confidence and a lot of belief because they’ve won a lot of games.
“We had to be at our best to beat them and we weren’t.
“If we lose next week, I think that’s the time to get angry, but not after today’s performance.”
The result leaves Rovers outside the relegation zone on goal difference with eight games to go.
Bottom club Hartlepool are now only a point behind them though after a run of three successive wins.
“We probably need four wins out the eight,” Adams added.
“And that’ll be a run that’s better than anything we’ve produced this season.
“It’s going to be tough.”