Derby boss Paul Jewell admits his players already know the Rams are going down this season because they "just ain't good enough".
Derby have picked up just seven points from 23 Premier League games this term and relegation has long looked a certainty.
Jewell has so far refused to publicly admit defeat in the survival fight but he now admits he and his squad are resigned to a return to the Championship.
"I am not a defeatist, I am a realist," he said. "The supporters watch every week. Do they think we are going to stay up on what they have seen? The answer to that question is no. Do the players believe, no, because we ain't good enough.
"That's not saying we have given up but sometimes to get stronger you have to take some knocks."