Angelo Mathews insists there is no pressure on Sri Lanka in their crucial Champions Trophy clash against India, live on Sky Sports 2 HD on Thursday.
Mathews leads the side into a must-win game against India at The Oval, after their 96-run defeat to South Africa in their opening game in Group B.
But the Sri Lanka captain hopes being written off already ahead of their game with the defending champions will allow his team to play with enough freedom to spring a surprise.
"People will want India to come in and thrash us, and so all the pressure is off us," Mathews said in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
"We are happy to walk in as the underdogs. I mean, no one really expects us to win the championship. We just have to go out there, just express ourselves and be aggressive."
Already in the midst of a rebuilding project following the retirement of several stars, Sri Lanka are also without Upul Tharanga, banned for his team's slow over rate against India, while batsman Chamara Kapugedera may miss out due to an injury sustained in practice.
Mathews, who missed the South Africa match due to a calf injury, pulled no punches as he slammed Tharanga and his team-mates for failing to keep up with the required over rate.
"The over rate was an issue. It was pathetic," Mathews added. "The captain was warned several times, and there's no excuse at all but to take responsibility for that.
"The whole team is responsible, including the captain. It's a very hard job on the field, and he has to look into so many things.
"The issue has been addressed and it will not happen again."
While Mathews is aware he is in charge of a largely inexperienced group still finding their way on the international stage, he expects them to rise to the challenge sooner rather than later.
"The guys are learning every single day. If you look at most of the guys, they haven't played a lot of international cricket," he said.
"The more you play, the more you learn. Everyone has to step up with their roles because we can't just expect things to fall in line.
"We've got to make it happen, and we've got to make it happen soon."
It might be hard to see too many signs of progress against the might of India though, and Mathews conceded Virat Kohli's group are a formidable outfit.
"They're a force in world cricket no matter where they play. They've played fantastic cricket over so many years," he added. "It's very hard to beat them unless we are on top of our game.
"We will all have to pull our socks up and give a great performance."
Watch India take on Sri Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy - live on Sky Sports 2 from 10am on Thursday.