Ross County manager Malky Mackay says being tipped for relegation will give the Staggies plenty motivation in the Premiership this season.
County started with a 0-0 draw at home to St Johnstone last weekend, with their next test coming away to Hibernian on Sunday.
The Staggies will then face Rangers, Aberdeen and Celtic in succession, marking a difficult start to the new campaign.
With County tipped to struggle in many quarters, among what is widely considered to be the strongest top flight for several years, Mackay says there will be no lack of incentive to prove their doubters wrong.
Mackay said: “In everything I’m reading we’re tipped for relegation.
“I don’t care about that. I’m only focused on making sure that our group of players are, mentally and physically, in a good place.
“That we go into every week and make sure we prepare ourselves properly, individually, for every game this year and we only hone in on the opposition we play that week.
“For me, that’s how to structure a football team that’s actually going to go and get results in this league.
“You’d have to ask others about expectations, but I’m certainly reading in plenty of places that we’re tipped for relegation.
“That’ll do me. We can live with that for a cause.”
County had a threadbare squad for their opening day stalemate against Saints, with on-loan Arsenal defender Harry Clarke and former Slovan Liberec midfielder David Cancola added to the squad for the trip to Easter Road.
Mackay is also confident of making two further additions before the end of the week, with the Staggies boss encouraged by the increased numbers he has to pick from.
He added: “We’ve got to try and grow the squad.
“Having lost Harry Paton and Regan Charles-Cook to the Gold Cup, it was great to get the two of them back in last weekend, and it was great to get David Cancola into the squad after he had to quarantine.
“We have added Harry Clarke to the squad from Arsenal as well, so from last week’s training to this week we have another four players.
“I’m hopeful that by the end of the week another two will join us, and then we’ve still got a few weeks to go for us to improve the depth of the squad.
“When you look at St Johnstone’s team from last Saturday, they had the same structure as last year, then they bring on Kane, Craig and Main. That’s the sort of strength in depth that we need to eventually get to.”
While Mackay is eager to boost his squad numbers before the end of this month, the former Watford and Cardiff City manager says he is working with chairman Roy MacGregor to strengthen in the long-term.
He added: “I’ve said it before, we need to not have the kids on the bench, we need to have men on the bench.
“That then becomes the Ross County that we will run with until Christmas when the next transfer window opens.
“It’s something we’ve spoken about, me and Mr MacGregor, having a recruitment structure and policy, a way of working, where we are looking windows ahead and not having to be reactive to the market and agents.
“We have to have a plan in that regard. Certainly in a month’s time, I would hope to have a stronger squad than we have this week.”