Chairman Steve Gibson is convinced Middlesbrough can win their fight for Barclays Premier League survival.
Gibson, who on Tuesday insisted sacking manager Gareth Southgate would solve nothing, knows just how serious the club's current situation is.
He told the Evening Gazette: "We are where we are and we have to deal with it. I still believe that this set of players is good enough to get us out of the mess in which we have put ourselves."
Boro are four points adrift of 17th-placed Blackburn with an inferior goal difference and just eight games to play, and are in danger of being cast adrift along with bottom side West Brom.
Gibson admits the club could slip out of the top flight, but having invested his faith in the manager he appointed to implement a long-term plan, he is refusing to throw in the towel.
He added: "We are in a very difficult situation and we are not fooling ourselves. Can we stay up? Yes. Can we go down? Yes.
"What we can do is to try to influence the situation so that things turn for us. We have to keep people believing that we can do it. We have to keep everything in perspective and make sure everybody keeps their chins up."
Gibson's loyalty to his managers is well known, but while he remains steadfastly behind former England defender Southgate, he can understand the frustration of the fans because he remains one of them.
He added: "I really understand the disappointment that the fans are feeling.
"I can tell you that I am hurting too. It's not a personal situation we are in. It affects everybody, not just inside of the club, but out of it too. It affects people's lives and therefore it matters."
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