Guernsey FC manager Tony Vance says his side will face a "relegation battle" at Carshalton on Tuesday night after their seventh loss in eight games.
The Green Lions went down 1-0 away at Whyteleafe to slump to 19th in the Isthmian League Division One South, six points off the relegation places.
"It's going to be a relegation battle," Vance told BBC Radio Guernsey.
"This league has gone up a notch in quality and we've gone down a notch - we need to get that back."
He added: "It is difficult - but while it's a tough challenge, people need to understand this is a mid-to-long-term project, not a short-term project."
Having conceded 31 goals in their previous seven games, including a and that was their second-worst loss, Vance was happy with how his side fared at Whyteleafe, who are fifth in the division.
|Guernsey FC's dismal run|
|Saturday, 27 Sept: Beat Horsham 4-2 (a)|
|Saturday, 4 Oct: Lost to Burgess Hill Town 2-0 (h)|
|Saturday, 11 Oct: Lost to Hastings United 4-1 (a)|
|Tuesday, 21 Oct: Lost to Tooting and Mitcham United 5-2 (a)|
|Saturday, 8 Nov: Lost to Herne Bay 4-3 (h)|
|Tuesday, 18 Nov: Lost to Merstham 8-0 (a)|
|Saturday, 22 Nov: Beat Chipstead 3-2 (h)|
|Tuesday, 25 Nov: Lost to Hythe Town 6-0 (a)|
|Saturday, 29 Nov: Lost to Whyteleafe 1-0 (a)|
"It was an absolutely tremendous strike that got them the win," said Vance. "But when your luck's down that's the way it is. We certainly deserved a draw.
"I'm really proud with the way they played and what they showed.
"We can take a lot of heart from that - after the games when we've lost 6-0 and 8-0 I've gone home thinking 'what are we going to do?'
"Today, while we've lost, I'm going to go home in a positive manner because I've seen something that's really pleased me."