Jake Wright is confident Oxford United can beat Gillingham tonight, even if the skipper acknowledges some of their own supporters will be fearing the worst.
The U’s have won just one of their last seven games and played out a disappointing goalless draw at home to York City on Saturday.
Gillingham have only lost once over the same period and top the npower League Two table, 22 points ahead of tonight’s visitors.
Wright thinks there will be some people in the away end at Priestfield who will be doubtful about United’s chances, but the centre back is looking forward to the clash.
He said: “Everyone outside of our squad, I think even some of our fans, will be expecting us to go there and get beaten.
“That’s why it’s a good game for us – we’ve got nothing to lose – there are no expectations from anywhere apart from ourselves.
“We’ve got a belief between us and the staff that we can go there and get a result.
“You want to play against the best players in the league and prove you can do it against them.”
Lewis Montrose scored the only goal in Gillingham’s 1-0 win when the sides met in Kent last season.
The midfielder, now on loan at United, is ineligible to play against his parent club, so the visitors will have to make one enforced change.
Andy Whing is the most likely replacement, in what would be his first start since December.
U’s boss Chris Wilder knows his side will need to be near their best to take something from the trip, but takes heart from Gillingham’s home record, which shows just two wins from their last eight games.
He said: “If they play well and true to form they will become really difficult opponents, but there are a couple of home games that we can take a bit of encouragement from.
“Wycombe went there and won a couple of weeks ago, it sums up the league.
“Sometimes football works in different ways, maybe these are the games where our players do rise to the challenge.”
The Gills have lost on-loan striker Cody McDonald, who has been recalled by Coventry City.
Manager Martin Allen could have the luxury of a fully-fit squad, with Matt Fish (ankle), Andy Frampton (concussion), Danny Kedwell (hamstring) and Charlie Allen (hand) in contention.
Gillingham: from Nelson, Fish, Legge, Barrett, Martin, Gregory, Whelpdale, Robinson, Lee, Burton, Weston, Birchall, Forecast, Davies, Dack, Richardson, Frampton, Williams.
Oxford Utd: from McCormick, Batt, Raynes, Wright, Davis, Parker, Chapman, Whing, Rigg, Constable, Craddock, Smalley, Potter, Heslop, Capaldi, Worley, O’Brien, Duberry, Crocombe.