Keith Lasley insists budgetary restrictions will not be allowed to curtail ambition at Motherwell.
It was claimed in a Global Sports Salaries study last season that the Fir Park club had the third lowest playing budget in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
However, the Steelmen are sitting in fourth place this season, behind the Old Firm and Aberdeen but above traditionally bigger clubs such as Hearts and Hibernian.
Ahead of Wednesday’s trip to St Mirren, Well’s assistant boss claimed the drive to improve is key at the Lanarkshire club.
The former Motherwell captain said: “It is realistic to think that for a club of our size staying in the division is an achievement in itself.
“Certainly bigger football clubs than us are not even in this division.
“It’s a reflection on the hard work put in by everyone since the summer across the board.
“Where we might be small in terms of budget and money we are not certainly small in hunger and desire to get the absolute very best out of everyone in this building.
“If we do that we feel as if we will give ourselves a chance of maintaining our good start, but we know it is going to take that.
“We know other clubs have eyes on overtaking us and we need to be aware of that but we can’t affect that. We can affect relentless nature to keep improving this football club.”
Struggling St Mirren sit above bottom side St Johnstone only on goal difference following a 2-1 defeat at Aberdeen on Saturday which followed another loss by the same scoreline at home to Hibs the previous week.
However, Lasley believes the Buddies form has not been reflected in their points total.
He said: “We won’t underestimate them, that’s for sure.
“We have watched most of their games. The manager and I were at the Hibs game last week and they were unlucky to lose that game.
“The Aberdeen game was a similar story, they had chances to not only draw the game but possibly win it.
“We certainly know how they have been playing and give them the respect they deserve.
“Every game is tough. You see how tight it is bottom to top and we need to need to be at it tomorrow night and that’s what we can take care of.”