Ross County manager Malky Mackay is not prepared to accept Premiership survival is the Staggies’ ultimate aim this season.
County have slipped to the bottom of the table, having failed to win any of their opening nine league matches.
The Dingwall men trail Dundee by three points, with Saturday’s opponents Livingston a further point ahead.
Following this weekend’s Victoria Park encounter, the Staggies will complete their opening round of fixtures with another crucial match against the Dark Blues at Dens Park on Wednesday.
Despite failing to register a victory thus far, Mackay says his squad still retains the belief they can push up the table.
Mackay said: “I would always want to push to make sure we’re as high as possible in the league. I don’t think it is about us saying let’s just try and survive, it is not in my make-up.
“It isn’t what the boys want to do. They’re not looking like a team that are bereft of confidence or just desperate to cling on to anything.
“It’s not the way it is in terms of what we’re seeing on a Saturday.
“But like anything, we do have to make sure we do have that initial step and make sure we survive.
“There’s certainly a positivity inside myself in terms of my group.
“I’m not daft. I do get the fact we’re sitting at the bottom of the league. Obviously we have to do something better than we have been doing, without question.
“But there’s an awful lot of games left to go.”
Defensive resistance a key focus for Staggies
Despite County’s lack of form, Mackay has been encouraged by the way his players have executed his gameplan.
The Staggies’ tally of 19 goals conceded is the highest in the league, but Mackay rejects the notion his side is too open, adding: “They’ve got themselves into the way we want them to play. That’s where I’ve been really pleased about them.
“With the amount of chances we’re creating and the amount of shots and crosses we’re having, that’s shown that in a certain circumstance.
“If we were losing fours and fives every week, then it could be said we were looking at that too much and not enough on making the team hard to beat.
“But it has been three or four deflections and four or five individual errors. I was a defender, so I’m always conscious of making sure that the back door is closed.
“The wide guys need to work to get back. We don’t carry luxury players. We can’t, but we still need to have people who open up the opposition.
“Charles-Cook and Hungbo are on fire at times.
“If nothing else, I’m hoping our fans are actually seeing that when we attack we look as if they’re going to get bums off seats.”