Craig Bryson has said Derby County must still believe they are in their play-off tie despite crashing to a 3-0 home defeat to Hull City in their semi-final first leg.
Hull put an excellent rearguard display, and they thwarted Derby at every turn before snatching three vital goals on the break.
Abel Hernandez opened the scoring for the Tigers with a well placed 25-yard drive and Moses Odubajo doubled the away side’s advantage with a deflected effort before half time. And to compound the home side's misery, Andy Robertson netted what could be a pivotal third deep into stoppage time.
The result leaves Derby’s season teetering on the edge, however midfielder Bryson believes the club must go into the second leg believing they can still make the play-off final.
“We have to go up there and still believe that we are in the tie,” Bryson told Rams Player HD.
“There’s no point in us turning up on Tuesday if we don’t believe that we are in the tie. We are going to have to go and make sure that we get the next goal in the tie.
“If that happens, then you never know what can happen. Football has thrown up a lot of shocks and surprises over the years so hopefully we can go up there and try and get something from the game.”
Away goals do not count in the play-offs, but even without them Derby must win by four goals if they are stand any chance of progressing outright before a shootout. Interestingly, they did beat Hull by that margin last month, when the Rams thrashed a 10-man Hull side at the iPro.
So as Bryson believes, all may not be lost just yet for Derby.
The second leg will take place on Tuesday at the KCOM stadium and the play-off final will be on Saturday 28 May.