Rob Hulse believes Derby have 'nothing to lose' ahead of their Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
The Rams are struggling in the Championship and currently they are just five points above the relegation zone.
They will put their league worries aside on Wednesday when they host United at Pride Park in the first leg of their semi-final.
It will be Derby's first appearance in a major cup semi-final since 1976 and Hulse insists the pressure will be on United to get through to the final.
"Derby are not used to being in this position. We haven't reached a semi-final for many years but it is commonplace for United," said the 29-year-old.
"We are the underdogs and we have got nothing to lose whereas United are expected to win, so we can just go out and play our game and enjoy ourselves and enjoy pitting our wits against some of the best players in the world.
"Being the favourites and being expected to win brings with it an added pressure. We have got to try and take advantage of that and make it difficult for them and if we can play and get the crowd behind us, we can give anyone a game.
"It is a cup game so you never know what could happen, but at the same time we know that whatever team they bring it will be packed full of experienced internationals and great players."
Hulse, who helped West Brom knock United out of the League Cup in 2003, accepts that Derby have to put themselves in a strong position ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford.
He said: "Hopefully we can get something out of the game so that it is all to play for when we go up there, but it is going to take a massive performance from us to achieve that.
"We are going to have to be organised as a team and everyone is going to have to be at their best, then we are going to have to hope that some of their players have an off-day."