Graham Kavanagh admitted his Carlisle side were all-but relegated after a 0-0 draw at Crawley left them three points from safety.
The Cumbrians must beat champions Wolves at Molineux on Saturday to give themselves a chance of goal-difference survival.
Kavanagh's men have won only one of their last 14 matches and, when asked if staying up was now beyond them, the Irishman said: "It looks like it. It definitely looks like it.
"We had an horrendous March and April and we didn't get the results we wanted."
Carlisle, who have only won four times since the turn of the year, came closest when midfielder Liam Noble hit the crossbar shortly after the break.
Kavanagh had no complaints at his side's effort and said: "It was a gallant and energetic performance despite us not getting the win we needed.
"I wanted us to play as though we were relegated as we have been under so much pressure.
"When you are in our position with young and inexperienced players in the side it carries a lot of responsibility and that impacts on performances.
"It's desperately sad that it looks like we're going to lose our fight."
Kavanagh revealed he left out striker Lee Miller for disciplinary reasons and has not decided whether the Scot will be involved in the squad for Saturday's match at Wolves.
The Carlisle boss has taken the action after Miller failed to attend a team meeting following last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat against Oldham.