South African coach Heyneke Meyer begrudgingly accepts that his team will be underdogs against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.
But he has become so used to being written off that he takes the brickbats and often offensive slurs that come with it in his stride.
Just six matches into his international tenure - having lost a large leadership group and more than 700 Test caps worth of experience - pundits are already calling for his head.
The sideline coaches feel that you can instantly replace players of the calibre of John Smith (111 Test caps), Victor Matfield (110), Bakkies Botha (76), Danie Rossouw (63), Gurthrö Steenkamp (38), Juan Smith (69), Schalk Burger (68), Fourie du Preez (62), Jaque Fourie (69) - to name just some who are currently not available.
It is tantamount to suggesting this week's opponents, the All Blacks, who are already without retired Brad Thorn and injured Dan Carter - must face up to the Boks without stars like Conrad Smith, Piri Weepu, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore and Tony Woodcock.
However, Meyer is not fazed by the suggestions that his team is onto a hiding in Dunedin on Saturday.
"I am used to it ... in my career I have always been written off and my team has always been written off, so for me it is all the same," the Bok mentor told a media briefing.
It is that same hardiness that Meyer will hope comes to fore against the world's top-ranked team in their Rugby Championship encounter.
The Bok coach is under no illusions as the test his pack in particular will face against a team which is unbeaten this year.
"Even with an experienced pack it is always a tough challenge against the All Blacks ... it is the ultimate challenge for any rugby player, especially a Springbok, to play New Zealand in New Zealand," Meyer said.
"We are excited about that.
"I know people are not giving us a chance," he said, adding: "[But] I believe this team is growing.
"We will definitely have to step up on Saturday and it will be a huge challenge for our pack.
"I do have confidence in this pack ... with Flow [Francois Louw] in and Flip [van der Merwe] it is a little bit more experienced there ... guys who can mix it up.
"It will be a tough battle up front, especially at scrum time, but you want to test yourself against the best in the world."
Meyer pointed to the fact that this is the first year of a new era in South African rugby, given the number and quality of players that moved on.
But he is confident they are moving in the right direction.
"I have said that after these two away Tests matches we will know exactly where we stand and which guys I can walk the path with going forward.
"We will know definitely where we stand, but it is going to be a huge challenge - there are not many injuries in the New Zealand pack, it is a very experienced pack and by far the best pack in world rugby."
Meyer said being the underdog going into Saturday's encounter with the Kiwis does not take the pressure off.
"Being the Springbok coach, the pressure is always on," he said, adding: "I am used to it ... in my career I have always been written off and my team has always been written off, so for me it is all the same."
He admitted that teams usually play better, especially if they are inexperienced, when people writes them off.
"We haven't got a good record in New Zealand, even with great teams and experienced teams. We have a lot of respect for the All Blacks.
"However, if you don't believe you have a chance to win, then you will never win.
"Obviously people are writing us off. We do need some luck and you need to play well, [but] I do believe we can win this game."
The All Blacks lead the Rugby Championship with 12 points after three wins, while South Africa are second on seven points - followed by Australia (four points) and Argentina (two).