Peterborough United defender Rhys Bennett insists the players are relishing the pressures that accompany a position at the top of League One.
That status is under threat on Saturday (September 15) as victory for second-placed Portsmouth at the ABAX Stadium would take them to the summit.
Both teams are unbeaten in League One action this season so a cracking contest is anticipated.
“League One teams see us a scalp now,” Bennett suggested.
“Teams will probably raise their game by 20% or so when they play us because we are top of the table, but we will relish that.
“And I’m sure Portsmouth will be as motivated by getting to the top as we will be to make sure we stay there.
“It’s far too early in the season to say it will be decisive contest, but there’s no doubt whoever wins will gain even more confidence.
“I’m confident that will be us. We’re playing well, we’re scoring goals and we’re defending well without getting the clean sheets we would like.”
Posh have kept just one clean sheet in seven League One outings, at Charlton, but Bennett reckons he is playing in the middle of a highly-talented back five.
“The defenders and the goalkeeper are outstanding players,” Bennett added. “It’s easy for me to play alongside someone as good as Ryan Tafazolli for instance and Colin Daniel and Jason Naismith are both excellent full-backs with lots of pace and experience.
“The manager has emphasised the need to stand up to the bullies in League One this season and we’ve done that so far.
“Some teams might have crumbled after losing a two-goal lead like we did at Southend last week, but we upped our game and went after the winning goal we thoroughly deserved.”
Posh are hoping for a first home Football League gate in excess of 10,000 for 18 months on Saturday.
Portsmouth are expecting to bring over 3,000 fans to the game. They have been handed the use of the entire Motorpoint Stand for the day.
Posh have been promoting the match heavily this week and reminding season ticket holders they can bring a friend to a game for just £10 on two occasions in a season.
The match has been made all-ticket.
“It’s indisputable that fans make a difference to a team’s success or otherwise,” Posh boss Steve Evans said. “To get the ABAX Stadium rocking this Saturday is a big aim.”
Over 10,200 watched Sheffield United beat Posh 1-0 at the ABAX in February, 2017.