Peterhead goalkeeper Brett Long is keen for the Blue Toon to prove people wrong and avoid a battle at the bottom of League One.
Manager Jim McInally has already highlighted the Balmoor side being written off as relegation contenders in the third tier and intends to relay that information to his players.
Long, a summer arrival from East Fife, has experience upsetting the odds during his time at New Bayview, with top-half finishes and hopes Peterhead can do the same this season.
He said: “If people are writing you off it gives you that wee bit of motivation to prove them wrong, to show them that you’re better than what they think.
“If we go into games and people think we’re just there to turn up, they’ve got another thing coming. We’ve got a squad that is definitely capable of competing with anyone in the league.
“The league is getting stronger and stronger each year and we’re more than capable of matching anyone on their day. If they go in with that attitude than all the better for us.”
The former Dundee United and Motherwell youngster was brought in this summer to compete with Lenny Wilson for the number one spot at the Blue Toon.
Long had been the starter at East Fife and replaced Josh Rae, who had been the starter last season.
McInally intends to keep rotating his two goalkeepers for at least the next few weeks, with Long keen to prove his worth in the coming games.
He added: “It’s swings and roundabouts. Some people would say keep rotating and some wouldn’t like to. It’s good for the manager as he’s got healthy competition there but I think once you get the consistency of a back five, it’s healthy for the team.
“If you’re in, you need to be performing to make sure you’re in for the next week. I’m sure the results will reflect on that. You just need to make sure you’re on the good side of results. Ultimately you want to be playing and you want to be winning.
“Lenny has been great with me since I’ve come in. He’s a nice boy and we work well together. Me and him have been pushing each other really hard.
“Whoever gets the nod, I’m sure the other will back them 100 per cent. We’ll keep working hard in our group and see where it takes us.”
Peterhead start their season at home to Alloa Athletic tomorrow, with Falkirk to follow next weekend as McInally’s side take on two title hopefuls early doors.
Long reckons he and his colleagues are capable of confounding expectations and finishing in the play-off places.
He said: “I think they should be aiming for at least the play-offs. They’ve got a great squad this year.
“We’re quite young and energetic. We’ll go about teams the right way. At the very minimum it should be play-offs, in my eyes.”