Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton has conceded defeat in the race for the Evo-Stik Division One South play-off.
Steels lost 3-0 at home to Lincoln United in midweek, leaving them ten points adrift of the top five with nine games left to play.
“I think that’s it, if I’m being honest,” Hilton said. “You have to say realistically the play-offs are gone for us this season.
“It’s disappointing because our target this season was to finish in the play-offs. We’re good enough but for one reason or another, it’s just not happened for us.
“The season isn’t over though. It’s important we keep going and make sure we finish as high as possible within the top ten.
“It’s something we’ll be making clear to the players, although in fairness, they’re not the sort for giving up. They want to go out and win football matches.”
Steels this weekend travel to struggling Loughborough Dynamo, who have lost their last six matches.
Hilton was bitterly disappointed with the performance against Lincoln and expects his players to put it right this weekend.
He said: “I’m not sure where that performance came from. It was certainly out of the blue.
“We were excellent at Stamford last weekend and expected to carry on against Lincoln.
“But we were just poor all round. We were sloppy, our passing was awful and I think every player had an off day.”
Sheffield FC are looking to end their worst run of the season when they visit Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday.
Club have taken just one point from their last six matches and have failed to score in their last four matches.
Despite the poor run of form, boss James Colliver has been pleased with performances.
But he has warned his players they must show themselves worthy of a future with the club.
Colliver said: “We need hungry players who are buying how myself and Gary Middleton want to play and if they don’t they won’t be with us moving forward.
“We’re going to involve some of the U21 and U19s to give them a chance to show what they’re capable of at first team level.
“We looked solid and disciplined in our last performance against Carlton Town and I never thought we looked in any danger.
“We’ve only conceded two goals in the last three games so I’m very upbeat about that.”
Ross Goodwin will return from suspension for Saturday’s trip while Colliver is hoping to add a new signing before the transfer deadline this week.
Colliver said: “We’re working on bringing in new face that hopefully we’ll get over the line before the transfer deadline and in time to be included for Saturday’s trip Kidsgrove.”