Gary Locke believes his Hearts team must win at least seven league games before the end of the season to retain hope of avoiding relegation.
The Edinburgh club, who started the season on -15 points following administration, are 17 points adrift at the foot of the table.
And Locke takes his side to Inverness on Saturday aiming for victory.
"We have to win a good seven or eight games to give ourselves any chance of staying in the league," he said.
Locke said his players were keen to banish the disappointment of their League Cup exit at the hands of Inverness CT and focus on retaining their top flight status.
"Hopefully we can go up there and get three points because we're getting to the stage now where games are running out," he said.
"To give ourselves any chance (of staying in the Premiership) we need to try to win the next three or four games.
"I'm not one for setting targets but we're not silly either. We have to win a good seven or eight games to give ourselves any chance of staying in the league.
"All we can do is take each game as it comes and it's another difficult game this weekend.
"But it's a game that, if we play the way we have been recently, then we can win."