Michael Dawson says Hull City have to win their last seven Championship matches - starting at Huddersfield Town on Saturday - to have any chance of automatic promotion.
The fourth-placed Tigers were hoping Town could do them a favour on Tuesday by putting the brakes on second-placed Middlesbrough.
But David Wagner’s side were beaten 3-0 on Teesside as Hull, relegated from the Premier League last season, lost 4-0 at Derby County.
The upshot was that Steve Bruce’s side were left seven points adrift of Boro and eight off leaders Burnley, on whom they have a game in hand.
Hear David Wagner speak after the Middlesbrough defeat
The Derby setback was the heaviest loss of former Town manager Steve Bruce’s Hull reign, which began in June 2012.
And skipper Dawson, the former Tottenham Hotspur centre-back, said: “It is a big dent in what we are looking to achieve.
“We have seven points to make up with seven games to go.
“It certainly looks like we are going to have to win all seven to close the gap, and that is what we have to try and do.
“Derby was a bad night. To concede four was devastating, but we move on and look to Huddersfield.
“We have seven games to go and we have to win all seven.
“It is a big ask, but with the players we have got, we can go on that kind of run.”
Hull, who have lost their last three away games, have right-back Moses Odubajo suspended after his red card at Derby.”