Cardiff's Tom Adeyemi says Colchester United will fancy their chances ahead of Friday's FA Cup third round tie.
Adeyemi says Colchester, who are one from bottom in League One, will be targeting an upset.
"They'll see some of the stuff that's been going on and think they can really get under our skin," said Adeyemi.
"I've been in a couple of games when you're playing for a lower team up against a bigger team and you automatically think 'they're not going to fancy it, we're going to be able to cause a shock here,' so they'll be thinking that . . . We've just got to make sure we don't let that happen."
The match will be shown live on BBC Two Wales from 19:30 GMT on Friday, 2 January.
Adeyemi added: "We're in a league above Colchester and we'll be expected to win, but at the same time we know that we're not just going to turn up and stroll to an easy victory.
"It's going to be a tough game like any other, especially with how things are going, so we're going to prepare exactly as we would for any other game and do everything we can to get the result we want."
The Bluebirds had hoped for an immediate return to the Premier League, but the 4-2 home defeat to Watford leaves Cardiff in 12th, nine points off the play-off places, with just eight wins in 24 league games.
Some supporters reacted by booing during the Hornets' game and demanding for Slade to be fired, while former Cardiff captain Jason Perry has said owner Vincent Tan is responsible for the club's struggles.
Adeyemi, 23, hopes a cup victory against Colchester, who have only won one of their last nine games, will spark a Championship revival for the Bluebirds.
"It's difficult to put your finger on exactly what has gone wrong in the last couple of weeks," said the former Birmingham City midfielder.
"But one thing that is for certain is that the best way to gain confidence is from winning games.
"Things have been disappointing of late in the league, so we've just got to see this game as an opportunity to put things right.
"Even though there aren't points up for grabs, we still want to go put in a good performance, get a good result and hopefully take that into the league games.
"To get a win on Friday night would definitely give us confidence going forward and might be able to kick-start things and get us back on the right track."