The Royals, who are eight points adrift of safety with six games remaining, host Liverpool on Saturday knowing an eighth successive loss in the competition would all but doom them to relegation.
Yet Adkins insists hope remains provided they can stage a late revival, drawing on last season's drive for promotion from the npower Championship as inspiration.
"We are where we are in the league, let's not hide away from that. We face an uphill task but all we can do is focus on one game at a time," he said.
"We have to have the mentality of playing winning football and keep looking to the future.
"The momentum has gone against us with the run of results we've had recently, so we need to see if we can establish some momentum.
"Last season this club showed in the Championship that if you get the right momentum you can go the other way as well.
"It's been a positive week on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Southampton.
"I've been here for a couple of weeks now and the players' attitude and application has been first rate. I'm really pleased about that."
Adkins has lost all three matches since becoming manager last month and Reading chairman Sir John Madejski yesterday revealed he would not have sacked his predecessor Brian McDermott.
Madejski also stated that some Royals fans prefer the Championship to the Premier League, which he described as "bit of a procession", but Adkins wants to spend another season in the top flight.
"I was as gobsmacked as anyone when Brian was relieved of his duties but that's football. And I speak from my own experience," the former Southampton boss said.
"This is my first season in the Premier League and I've loved every second of it. It's where I want to ply my trade.
"We have several games left and we'll see where we are at the end of the season, but my desire is to make sure Reading stay here.
"If we're not in the Premier league next season, we'll strive to get ourselves back in straightaway."