Gareth Ainsworth challenged Wycombe to avoid finishing bottom of the Sky Bet Championship after their hopes of beating relegation were virtually ended by a 2-1 defeat at Cardiff.
Ainsworth's Chairboys have to win their last two games, hope Derby lose theirs, and overturn a 13-goal deficit to stay in the second tier against all the odds.
Cardiff's Wales striker Kieffer Moore made it 20 goals for the season with a strike in either half for the Bluebirds, who had Will Vaulks dismissed late on.
"I'm never going to admit 100 per cent defeat – crazier things have happened," Ainsworth said.
"There is a glimmer of hope and if the worst happens, we will have a chance to get another promotion on our CVs.
"That's my focus. I'm looking forward to what we can do next season and we've learned so much at this level. We got promoted earlier than we expected, but what that's done is allow us to build.
"I'm confident this club will be challenging for Championship promotion again, now we've had this experience. We know what it's about and we won't be losing our first seven games next time.
"Our form in the second half of the season has been outstanding and I'm really proud of the boys. If we'd done that in the first half, we'd have been safe.
"My challenge is not finishing bottom of the Championship – what an achievement that would be. Let's see what we can do."
Cardiff took the lead when Moore cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful low shot.
Wycombe captain, former Cardiff player and boyhood Bluebirds fan Joe Jacobson converted from the spot.
It proved crucial as Moore then made Wycombe pay for their missed chances.
Vaulks came on in the third minute of added time and was almost immediately given a red card for a nasty challenge on Curtis Thompson.
Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy hailed striker Moore, saying: "He's been terrific.
"The shift he puts in every week is amazing. We have not got a direct replacement for him, so he has played all the games.
"I want him to have a good Euros and I want him to have a good career. I signed him at Ipswich for 20 grand and he's done all right since moving on.
"I love to see players progressing but if he leaves here, that's what happens. You sign players, they score 20-odd goals, and you get interest from other people – there is nothing you can do about it.
"I feel for Gareth but, I've got no feelings towards them because I've been there and can't remember anyone's sympathy for me.
"He's done a great job getting them up and scrapping almost to the very end"