Burnley manager Owen Coyle insists critics who continue to write off his side are only fuelling motivation to stay in the Premier League.
After upsetting Sheffield United in the Championship play-off final last season, the Clarets were installed as favourites to be relegated from the top flight before a 2009/10 ball was kicked.
Burnley, though, have shocked many with their form and Saturday's trip to Portsmouth could move the Turf Moor outfit a substantial 13 points clear of Avram Grant's rock-bottom side.
But doom-mongers still dismiss the ability of Coyle's men and expect them to slip towards the relegation zone in the make-or-break second half of the season, which only adds to a determination to survive.
Coyle said: "A lot of people wrote us off without looking at us extensively and realising what we are about.
"Up to this point we have done okay but we have to continue on the front foot and let all the doubters know they are wrong by continuing to win points in the Premier League.
"They still want to give you criticism but that comes part and parcel with the game. It doesn't faze me, it doesn't deter me. All it does is give me extra motivation to drive these players on."
Coyle is delighted with the all-round effort of his squad and has used the recent emergence of Chris Eagles as an example to those on the fringes.
Eagles was excellent in the latter stages of last weekend's 5-3 defeat at West Ham and his manager believes the display is reward for hard work on the training ground.
"Chris has had to be patient, sitting on the bench for a few games, but when he has come in he has shown his quality," said Coyle.
"We have had to work hard with him on the training ground because this is not the Championship, it is the Premier League and that demands different things.
"We will continue to do that on a daily basis with all our players but of course there is inspiration there in the shape of Chris for all the boys on the bench or just outside it and that shows in their training."