Gary Smith admitted he is facing the toughest challenge of his career after watching his Stevenage side lose 2-0 to Colchester.
After a goalless first half in Saturday's League One clash at Broadhall Way, Jabo Ibehre struck for the first time in seven games to give Colchester the lead on 62 minutes with a fine header.
And Ibehre made the game safe after 73 minutes when he tapped in following a fine run from Gavin Massey to lift Colchester out of the relegation zone.
Boro are now just seven points above the drop and Smith admits his side must win a quarter of their remaining games to survive.
"It's turning into the toughest challenge I've ever had no doubt about it, but I'm up for it, and I know he guys are," he said.
"It's a poor result at home against a side who are trying to get themselves out of trouble.
"The challenge for us is a simple one. We probably need three wins out of the last 12 games to secure our status which I would absolutely fully back my team to go and do.
"As we well know in this league, if you get a result it can change things.
"If you lose six games on the spin you absolutely feel the pressure, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't, the challenge is a real big one and as a young manager it's a challenge that I'm up for. It will stand me in very good stead. But we'll keep fighting and battling on."