Harry Paton is surprised by the negativity around Ross County's prospects this season.
The 22-year-old Canadian midfielder has noted that the Staggies, who were 10th when the Premiership was curtailed in March due to the coronavirus crisis, have often been mentioned in despatches when possible relegation candidates are discussed.
Stuart Kettlewell's side got off to an encouraging start with a 1-0 home win over Motherwell on Monday night and ahead of the trip to Hamilton on Saturday, the former Hearts and Fulham midfielder spoke about proving doubters wrong.
He said: "What was said in the press about the team was mentioned before the game and and it motivates us to prove them wrong and we definitely showed that against Motherwell the other night.
"It surprises me to see that people think that of us and I think they are wrong.
"I know the players we kept on from last year and the players we have brought in are top-quality players.
"I think we will be pushing for a good spot this year, higher than last year's position.
"Our goal is to progress in the league, score more goals and be more solid at the back.
"It was a big home win on Monday and it has lifted the boys' morale."
Paton came through the youth system at Fulham and then Hearts but after failing to make the breakthrough at Tynecastle he was loaned out to Stenhousemuir.
He joined County in 2018 and returned for a second loan spell at Stenhousemuir and now the Canada under-20 player is keen to push on.
He said: "Playing at a high level is a personal goal for me and playing at the highest level in Scotland is a big achievement for me and I am enjoying every minute of it.
"I think everything happens for a reason and football is obviously, you will have ups and downs
"I think my career is progressing really well and I am really happy where I am and I think I can push even more and go to a higher level and kick on."