Coll Donaldson believes the tension in Ross County’s survival push will not be as palpable given the absence of supporters at their remaining two matches.
The Staggies go into tonight’s game against Hamilton Accies three points clear of the bottom-placed visitors, while they are also a point ahead of 11th placed Kilmarnock.
Although County’s fate is in their own hands, defender Donaldson is only too aware of the heat that will be on his side in tonight’s game and Sunday’s final day encounter away to Motherwell.
Donaldson was part of a Dundee United side which suffered the drop in 2016, with the Tangerines going on to spend four years in the Championship before winning promotion back to the top flight last year.
The 26-year-old detects a different vibe at Victoria Park this time around, but he feels the lack of a crowd could actually work in the Staggies’ favour.
Donaldson said: “When I went down with United it was horrible.
“That was completely different to here, we were probably relegated with about ten games to go because we’d been so far adrift.
“I think it was about sixteen points at one stage.
“It’s different here, it’s in our own hands and it feels different.
“At the time at United I didn’t know how to deal with it, I didn’t know how to deal with the stick from the fans.
“But I am older now, you learn how to deal with it and when you face it again you know a bit more about it.
“You can almost feel the pressure but without fans it makes it a little bit easier, you don’t feel the nerves around the stadium as much.
“It’s a different experience, the pressures of it all are not the same as what it was at United.
“We are going into Wednesday on the back of a win, we’re not getting carried away but it was an important win.
“You can draw back on some good performances and if anyone is going to be confident going into these last games it should be us.
“We can only look at the Hamilton game, it’s not about the next game – everything is about this one.”
Donaldson hopes County’s 2-0 win against Dundee United in their last outing can be a springboard towards their survival, adding: “It’s in our own hands and we have spoken about that since the Dundee United win.
“If we can put two performances like that together then we’ll give ourselves a good chance of getting out of it.
“Relegation battles are always tense, people are nervous and it’s how you deal with it.
“You have to embrace it, the mood here has been very good after Tannadice – a win always does that.
“There is a lot at stake, we have to win the game – there are no two ways about it.
“It’s a must win and we are under no illusions how tough it will be because Hamilton beat us here earlier in the season.”
County are searching for their first back-to-back league wins since the opening two matches of the campaign, however Donaldson insists there would be no better time to find consistency.
He added: “People have been saying all season there is a good team here but it’s about putting it together.
“Not being able to do that is the most frustrating thing. That’s the challenge this week, we have to back up the Dundee United performance.
“We were under massive pressure at Dundee United, most people would have had us getting beat so to put in a performance and win gives us a lot of confidence.
“It’s a good time to have one of our best performances and hopefully we can string another two performances together.”