DAVID Forde insists Saturday's trip to Watford holds no fear for Millwall – ten months after they hit rock bottom at Vicarage Road.
A 4-0 drubbing last season led to Steve Lomas' sacking and left the Lions staring relegation in the face after a dismal run of results.
But Forde believes that shocking result and performance turned out to be a blessing in disguise, with Millwall now steadily improving under Ian Holloway.
Watford are level on points with Derby at the top of the Championship table and have the second-best scoring record in the division.
Forde, though, is confident the Lions can make amends for that dark day against the Hornets when they travel to Hertfordshire this weekend.
"That game was one of the worst times I've experienced in a Millwall shirt," Forde told the Southwark News. "We were struggling badly.
"Unfortunately it wasn't to be for Lomas but we've been really blessed to receive a manager of Holloway's quality and calibre.
"Sometimes you have got to be at rock bottom before things pick up and that game was certainly the case last year."
Forde says Millwall have come on leaps and bounds since they were thumped by Watford on Boxing Day.
"The team's structure and shape is so much better," he said. "We know now that we've got a way of playing that suits us and our players.
"Under this manager, any team that plays us knows they are going to have a difficult game – that was always the case under Kenny Jackett and Holloway has given us back that ethos.
"If we can give anyone a good game, then we won't be found wanting this season. We've got that spirit in the dressing room again and it's been a while since I've felt like that.
"I've never won a game at Watford, so hopefully that will change under this boss.
"The manager has had such a big effect on the club since we last played there – the training ground, the pitches and the whole infrastructure have improved. We're making strides.
"He was the reason why I stayed in the summer and why I want to be here.
"I really feel that under his leadership, and with his knowledge and the way he sees the game, that I can achieve my dream of reaching the Premier League."
The Lions have a spring in their step after beating Cardiff City last time out.
"We're going there in great spirits – we're unbeaten in our last four, we've done well away from home and we're racking up a few clean sheets," Forde added.
"This is an important period of our season – we've got three games in a week before the next international break.
"If we can go away to Watford, who are joint-top of the league, and get a good result, we'll set down a marker.
"It will be a tough game but we're not afraid of anyone in this division. When we're on our game, we can cause teams problems."