Paul Jewell has told Sky Sports News that it would take a miracle for Derby to avoid relegation back to the Championship.
The Rams only came up through the play-offs in the 2006/07 season, but after picking up just nine points in their 25 Premier League games so far they look destined to make a hasty return to the second tier of English football.
"No footballer or any manager likes to admit defeat," he told Sky Sports.
"All I would say is that it is looking highly likely that we will be in the Championship next season.
"But while there's games and points to play for we have to give it our best for ourselves and the supporters. There's no other way around it.
"I'm not going to say I think we are going to claw it back, because it will be a miracle beyond miracles if we do.
"But we have got 13 or 14 games left now to try and restore some pride."