ROTHERHAM United caretaker boss Andy Liddell is refusing to give up hope of achieving an automatic promotion spot despite the Millers slipping to 10th in the League Two standings.
The Millers are now three points off the final play off place after their 1-0 defeat to struggling Morecambe plus Accrington Stanley’s midweek triumph over Southend.
But Liddell will continue to target the seven point distance to third place as his side prepare for Saturday’s trip to another struggling side, Cheltenham Town.
He said: “It is seven points but it isn’t mathematically impossible.
“While ever it remains a possibility we’ll be chasing it.
“The players are making it very hard for themselves and I have told them that.
“Automatic promotion is a fantastic feeling and some of the players and staff have had it before.
“But at the moment we are making it hard.”
The Millers were poor against Morecambe and were hit with a fine Jimmy Spencer finish eight minutes from time, raising serious doubts about their resolve heading into the crunch final month of the campaign.
And Liddell admitted the performance from his side was ‘not good enough.’
He said: “We lacked tempo, quality and confidence which was surprising because all the staff here have worked hard trying to build confidence up.
“Nobody has tried more than we have to motivate the players and building their confidence. “The players now have to take responsibility for their own performance and they will, but we still have a chance.
“We will work hard in training and try and build them back up again like we did this week.
“It’s hard to put your finger on what went wrong.”
Ian Thomas-Moore looks unlikely to be fit for the weekend after missing the Morecambe game through a thigh injury.
Ryan Cresswell also missed out last weekend but looks the more likely to return.
Saturday’s hosts Cheltenham suffered a humiliating 8-1 defeat at Crewe Alexandra last weekend.
The Millers triumphed 6-4 when the two sides met at Don Valley in August.