New skipper Andre Boucaud hopes Dagenham & Redbridge can flourish in their underdog role this year ahead of the League Two kick-off at Portsmouth on Saturday.
Daggers warmed up for that clash with a 1-0 friendly win over a Crystal Palace XI on Monday, a match Boucaud thinks many believed the east Londoners would lose.
Aaron McLean, a former Robert Clack School pupil, came off the bench to score the winner in the 75th minute from six yards.
Following a shot from Ashley Chambers, Palace keeper Alex McCarthy palmed the ball into the path of the striker for him to net.
Boucaud believes that having proved the doubters wrong against Premier League opposition, Daggers can do exactly the same in League Two this season.
“We’re the underdogs every time. Even last season, every time we played, everyone thought we were going to lose,” said the midfielder.
“It’s a good feeling when you prove people wrong. Myself, I’ve proved people wrong. No one thought I’d play again in the Football League, but I’m back in the Football League.
“I’ve proved people wrong and I believe with all the young fellas here, that’s what we’ve got to do. Continue to prove people wrong and be confident within ourselves.
“Not over confident, but have a tight group and have everyone work for each other.”
Boucaud’s new role was announced during the club’s Open Day, where they also confirmed the signing of Matt Richards.
Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth will be Boucaud’s first official game since his unveiling as skipper and it is one he is relishing.
It’s a match that will also present new signings Nyron Nosworthy and Josh Passley with a chance to return to their former club, having both spent time on loan at Pompey last season.
But Boucaud confirmed his leadership style means he will be letting the team know what is expected from them against the title favourites when Saturday comes at Fratton Park.
He added: “I’m quite vocal. I like to enjoy the games as well. It’s very serious, but I think if you enjoy it you’re going to do well.
“I will try to encourage the players too. If someone’s doing something wrong I will give them encouragement and the confidence to play. I believe if you play confident, you’ll get more right results than wrong ones.”
The win against the Eagles is likely to give the team a confidence boost ahead of the Pompey game.
And the trip to London rivals Charlton in the Capital One Cup first round on Tuesday will be another chance for Daggers to prove their critics wrong.