Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson now admits that the play-off route offers his side their best chance of regaining League One status.
The Warriors boss hasn’t quite conceded the League Two title following last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by table toppers Montrose.
But he says his side have to be “realistic” in their approach to the remaining weeks of the season and focus on making sure they secure a top four finish.
He said: “We’ve got to be realistic and look at the league table. We’ll never, ever give up on anything but I think what we need to now do is reassess what our main goal is.
“Our main goal has always been about promotion and getting into the play-offs, but we always had the real hope of doing something championship-wise.
“But now we’ve got to look at realistic targets and the headline target is now about the play-offs.
“We’re in a strong position to do that but that’s got to be a realistic aim for us and where we focus our efforts.”
After last week’s loss Stenny are 14 points behind Montrose - with two games in hand – and nine adrift of second-placed Peterhead.
Ferguson said: “If Peterhead and Montrose both falter over the coming weeks we’ve got to be in a position to capitalise on that but the result certainly puts things strongly in Montrose’s favour and we recognise that.
“The overall goal for us is now cementing that place in the play-offs.”