Arbroath’s Jason Thomson admits he is hoping some pundits will end up eating their words after writing off the Red Lichties at the start of the Championship campaign.
Dick Campbell’s part-time side will certainly be up against it this season against a host of big-spending full-time outfits such as the two Dundee teams, Partick Thistle and Dunfermline.
That scenario has led to them being tipped as relegation favourites in some quarters with bookies also believing it is between Arbroath and the other part-time side in the league, Alloa, to drop down automatically.
However, full-back Thomson is confident Arbroath can confound the critics and retain their place in the league, starting this afternoon as Queen of the South visit Gayfield.
The 32-year-old said: “We don’t need anyone to tell us we will be underdogs and favourites to go back down.
“The club has come up two leagues in three years which is great in anyone’s book and we are determined to give a good account of ourselves.
“But the gaffer will love being written off and he will see that as a challenge.
“Hopefully by May, next year we will have proved a lot of people wrong.”
Thomson added: “It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were winning the league at Glebe Park.
“But we are back at it now and looking forward to the first game of the Championship campaign.
“I think it has been a bit of a whirlwind for some of the lads who have been at the club for the last three years.
“I just joined last season but these guys were here when the club was in League 2 and now find themselves quite quickly in the Championship.
“There is a lot of excitement surrounding the club at the moment. It is a great opportunity for Arbroath.”
The Red Lichties secured the League 1 title at a canter last season and Thomson believes that winning habit will hold them in good stead as they make the step up.
The former Hearts and Raith player said: “The league will be highly competitive again especially with both Dundee teams in it.
“It will be a tough but an excellent campaign to be involved in. We deserve to be there and rightly so.
“We won League 1 quite convincingly last season.
“Like the manager has said, we now just have to go and embrace being in the Championship.
“No-one is under any illusions about how tough a season it will be at times but we certainly have a squad that can stand up and be counted in that league.
“The amount of victories we had last year helps breed that winning mentality so that’s certainly a positive to take in with us.
“I don’t think we will fear anyone and we are looking forward to getting teams to Gayfield and showing what we are all about.”
The League 1 championship flag will be unfurled shortly before kick-off and Thomson is hoping he and the rest of the Arbroath players can give everyone connected with the club another day to remember against the Doonhamers.
He said: “It is the old football cliché but we just have to look after ourselves and not worry about what other teams are doing.
“Queens will come up to us expecting to get something.
“But the flag will be unfurled and like I said we deserve it.
“It is a big day for Arbroath, the fans and all the guys who work at the club as volunteers.
“We had a couple of great days at the end of last season – hopefully we will have another on Saturday.”