Harry Redknapp is keen to see us finish our season as strong as possible - even with hopes of a top four finish becoming a distant possibility.
Three games remain, starting with our visit to Manchester City tonight, where a win for Roberto Mancini’s men will see them secure Champions League football for next season at our expense.
Liverpool have now moved ahead of us into fifth place after their 5-2 win at Fulham on Monday night, and even a repeat of our famous victory at Eastlands a year ago would leave us still trailing City by three points with an inferior goal difference ahead of Sunday's tough trip to Anfield.
The manager cites six draws from our last eight games as a key factor in not being able to maintain the pressure on City, but he retains hope for the remainder of the season and insists we cannot be downbeat as another memorable campaign draws to a close.
Harry said: “We have played some fantastic football, got into the last eight of the Champions League and have been scrapping for that top four spot all year. That wasn't happening a few years ago, so it's been a great season.
“It's very difficult now. We had our chances but haven't been able to win. We've been drawing games and we've lost that little spark that makes the difference between draws and turning them into wins.
“City are in a great position, six points ahead of us with a better goal difference by miles. It will take a miracle.
“It’s going to be hard to finish above Liverpool now but we still have a big chance and I still think we can do it. We need to try to win the last three games and see where it takes us. It's not an easy task but every game you want to win.
“We are not far away and next year we have got to improve and come out and try and do it again next year.”
As for tonight’s opponents City, Harry feels we could be looking at potential future champions of England if their recent progress continues.
He added: “I think Roberto's got a fantastic squad and will go again. I don't see what will stop them. They will keep improving their squad until eventually they will win the title.”