Derby County boss Billy Davies has warned his side that the upcoming Premier League games are not going to be easy.
In the next six games the Rams avoid all of the league's current top six sides however Davies is well aware the matches are not going to be easy.
"We are still what we are - we're everybody's favourite to go down, a team that has come up two years too early," he said.
"I certainly don't see any easy fixtures coming up for Derby County. What I do see is that there isn't a Liverpool or an Arsenal or a Manchester City."
Although the 43-year-old expects tough games, he understands the importance of picking up points in the coming weeks.
"There isn't an easy game coming up and it's going to be very difficult.
"But going into the games we certainly do feel over the course of the next few weeks we can pick up some good points."
Davies has also backed his misfiring strikers to come good, and is standing by his decision to play goal-less Steve Howard over other forwards.
"In the first seven or eight games last season, people were saying he was a waste of money," Davies explained.
"Stevie could be sitting on four or five goals at the moment, he's had some great chances but unfortunately it hasn't fallen for him.
"I have said to Rob Earnshaw and a few other guys who have come here - be patient, sometimes it clicks, sometimes it takes a bit of time and is a matter of working away."