Sabri Lamouchi said that his squad must dig deep for these final few matches as Nottingham Forest get set to face Preston on Saturday.
The fixtures are coming thick and fast for the season’s climax, with a trip to Deepdale off the back of the midweek defeat against Fulham.
Lamouchi knows that the fixture pile-up will take its toll on his players, but they are determined as a group to keep fighting.
He said: “I was frustrated and disappointed [on Tuesday] but my job is to keep the team relaxed and positive. To play four games in nine days, they are not machines.
“Of course, we made some mistakes and we weren’t so brilliant, but the opponent was the same.
“It is not easy to watch Championship games at this moment without fans, without intensity and without the usual atmosphere. Now, every day, the target is to work with quality, not quantity, to prepare for the next one the best we can.
“We are not machines but we are lucky that our job is our passion. We need to make the sacrifices and put in the effort. We will never give up and especially now. We need to be relaxed, be focused and not forget what we have done until now.
“We started more than one year ago now, it is a strange situation but this is our job and we are lucky. We have to be positive, of course we cannot be perfect in every session and every game, but we must try to do our best all of the time.”
Preston kept themselves in the hunt for a play-off place with a timely victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night, ending a seven game winless run which stretched back into February, and Lamouchi is well aware of the quality they possess in their side.
He said: “Preston had a great result in Sheffield and we know how hard it is to get points there. We will face a team with confidence but tired like us.
“They will probably change against us, change the system as Sheffield play differently to us. But maybe not, as after the victory they can keep the same line-up and keep the confidence.
“I don’t know but it will be a tough game, of course. I remember Preston here, they played with a good dynamic and with good players. They are a good team, I like the manager and he has done a great job there. It will be a very difficult game for us.”