Ryan Dow has insisted Dundee United can prove their doubters wrong when Celtic come calling.
The Tangerines face the Hoops in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Tannadice on Sunday – the first of three meetings between the clubs.
The form trajectories of the teams have gone in opposite directions over the last while but Dow is adamant that a United victory can’t be ruled out.
He said: “People will write us off but in the dressing-room we will be quietly confident.
“We will need to drastically improve when we play Celtic but we will be working really hard in training to turn things round.
“People have maybe started doubting us over the last couple of weeks because of the results but every person in our dressing-room, including myself, is confident that we can click together and put on a good performance
“It’s not been good enough from our point of view but you don’t become a bad team overnight.
“Sometimes you go out there and it doesn’t work for you but we are confident that, if we play to our best ability, we can go and get a good result on Sunday.
“It’s about trying to get consistency.
“Sometimes we have been really good and then really poor like we were against Partick Thistle and St Johnstone.
“It’s not good enough to turn up week in, week out and sometimes you perform to a high level and then sometimes you don’t.
“The players will take the blame for that and we need to start performing better.”
Dow revealed United will take encouragement from being the last team to beat Celtic in domestic competition – the 2-1 Premiership win at Tannadice on December 21.
“That was just before before Christmas so the boys need to look at that and get confidence from it,” he said.
“It was only three months or so ago so I don’t think we have become a bad team since then.
“So we just need to put in some performance and hopefully the result goes the same way.
“We have the Scottish quarter-final to look forward to and then and the League Cup final as well.
“I can’t even remember the last time that would have happened, getting to back-to-back finals.
“So there’s a lot of positives to look forward to.
“Everyone is hurting just now – it’s not just about the players.
“The fans are hurting, too, and the manager because we haven’t been winning.
“But we will be looking at the bigger picture and hopefully take the form we have had in the cups into these games coming up.”
Dow also insisted that the loss of Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong to Celtic – both will sit out Sunday’s game and the League Cup final because they are cup-tied – hasn’t left a gaping hole in the team.
“People can say what they like but it hasn’t affected any of the boys,” added Dow.
“It’s just that we’ve lost a couple of games at the wrong time and people have jumped on that.
“It’s a coincidence.
“We are confident in our own ability and we just need to concentrate on turning this poor form around.”
Meanwhile, a United delegation will be at Hampden today to argue their case at the hearing into the notice of complaint issued to striker Nadir Ciftci, which alleges violent conduct during the 1-1 draw with Inverness Caley Thistle on February 24.