Simon Grayson slammed his "naive" Leeds side after they slumped to a third consecutive away defeat but he remains confident they can still secure promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
The Whites are now eight points behind second-placed Cardiff with five games remaining after they surrendered a lead to lose 2-1 at Derby.
"Until it's mathematically impossible we'll keep going but obviously back-to-back defeats is going to make it difficult," Grayson said. "We've just got to keep working hard, we've got a big game at the weekend against Watford and we've got to roll our sleeves up and be confident we can go and win the next two home games against Watford and Reading and lets just see where it takes us."
He added: "A couple of weeks ago we've said there would be twists and turns, we've had a couple of downward results, but we've certainly got enough in the dressing room to make sure we finish off in that top six."
Grayson felt the defeat was a missed opportunity for his side but insisted they only have themselves to blame.
He said: "It's a game we knew we could win, it's a game we knew we had to take by the scruff of the neck to try and put Derby under pressure.
"First half we were in control without ever really playing to the top of our game in terms of the final third and creating things, but we said to the players at half-time, 'lets up it, get the first goal and we can go on and win the game'.
"We do that but then we're just naive in what we did, straight from the kick-off we must have given the ball away three or four times which allowed them opportunities to get at our defence and that's really naive. We contributed to our own downfall with some naive football."
Victory for Derby lifted them 11 points above the relegation zone and although manager Nigel Clough insists they are not totally safe, he believes they are not far off securing Championship football for another season.
When asked if he felt the Rams were safe, Clough added: "Nearly, not quite but nearly. It would take a very strange set of results I think for that to happen but that can happen in football so we want to make sure."
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