Daryl Mitchell believes Worcestershire can prove their doubters wrong and retain their top-flight status in the LV County Championship.
The Pears know all about defying the odds having done just that last summer by clinching promotion to Division One on the last day of the 2010 season.
Their surprise success came after a turbulent winter that had seen internationals Simon Jones, Steve Davies, Gareth Batty and Kabir Ali depart New Road, as well as England Lions batsman Stephen Moore.
Now they have once again been written off in April, though skipper Mitchell - who took over the job from Vikram Solanki - is confident they can survive.
"As a player, you want to test yourself against the best so it's good to be back in the first division," he said.
"History is against us staying up because we have had a few promotions and relegations in recent years.
"But we were written off at the start of last season and were made favourites for the wooden spoon and ended up getting promoted.
"It will be challenging this season and we're tipped as relegation favourites.
"But we believe we can survive and we have plenty of talented players in our side. On our day, we can compete with the best teams.
"Confidence is a big thing and we are looking to build on that after last year."
Worcestershire begin their Division One campaign with a home game against Yorkshire, which gets underway on Friday at New Road.
Meanwhile, batsman Moeen Ali is hoping to sign a new contract with the Royals as he enters the final year of his current deal with the county.
The England Lions player, who joined from Warwickshire four years ago, scored more then 2,000 runs in all competitions last summer.
He said: "I hope we can come to an agreement. I really do. I love my cricket at Worcester.
"I enjoy the place and the team spirit with the guys and I'm happy here.
"We have had some good chats about my future and hopefully we can sort out something soon."