Chester FC should have 'no fear' about taking on National League leaders Cheltenham Town this weekend, claims Tom Shaw.
The Robins are on a 10-game unbeaten run in the league, have the division's meanest defence and, along with Grimsby Town, have scored the most goals.
But midfielder Shaw believes Chester's performance when the sides drew 1-1 earlier in the season and their record against the top teams means the Blues are not without hope.
"There's no fear at all going there because we have them a good game at our place," said Shaw.
"We know they've got some good players but with our squad we can definitely compete with Cheltenham when we are at our best.
"The season has been quite frustrating. I think we've showed some real promise at times but for whatever reason we've just not been able to do it consistently.
"I think the word consistency gets mentioned in every interview at the minute but going into Christmas and the New Year if we can start doing the good things more often then we'll be a real threat."
Nottingham-born Shaw, who signed from Alfreton Town on a two-year deal in the summer , has scored twice in 25 appearances this season.
The 28-year-old probably should have added to his goal tally against Gateshead at the weekend when he saw a shot cleared off the line and then hit the post on the follow up.
Ross Hannah spurned a similar chance and that profligacy cost the Blues as a late own goal from Alex Whitmore sealed a 1-0 defeat .
Shaw said: "I got away from the full-back and tried to be composed with the first finish but the goalkeeper got a little bit of something on it, his hand I think, and I was hoping for someone to poke it in on the line but it came back to me and I've perhaps got to do a bit better with the second one that ended up hitting the post and I was disappointed not to score really.
"We competed and we managed to get a few chances along the way but it's like the manager said after the game, we lacked that final bit of quality in and around the box. We've got players with the quality but on Saturday we weren't quite at it.
"We got a bit scrappy in the last 10 minutes after Gateshead scored and we've perhaps got to be a little bit more assured with our passing and getting balls into the box to create chances for the forward players.
"We were chasing the game and sometimes it does get like that but we've got to keep the ball up the top end of the pitch a little bit longer."
Although the first half of the campaign has not lived up to pre-season expectations, there's still a lot of football to be played and, with the busy festive period looming, Shaw feels now is the opportune moment to find that elusive form.
He said: "This is definitely the time to do it. We've got some good fixtures through the Christmas period and a very good chance to pick up some points.
"Everybody knows that with a good run over Christmas you can put yourself in a good position and hopefully we can do that."