Matt Kilgallon hopes Hamilton can heap fresh frustration on Hearts on Boxing Day.
The Jambos made a stunning start to the season, storming to the top of the table after winning eight of their first 10 fixtures.
But a string of injuries halted Craig Levein’s team and their surprise march and they now find themselves down in fifth after recording one victory in their last nine league games.
Now Accies defender Kilgallon aims to take advantage of the crisis of confidence in the Gorgie ranks when his side travel to Tynecastle.
The 34-year-old told Press Association Sport: “Hearts were flying at the start of the season but have dropped off. Hopefully we can take advantage of any lack of confidence they might be going through right now.
“Everyone knows how hard it is when you’re not full of belief. You don’t see the passes you would normally see, you don’t ask for the ball.
“If they are still going through that when we go through to Tynecastle hopefully that plays into our hands.”
Canning praised his way his men stood up to Rangers last week as they limited Steven Gerrard’s team to a 1-0 Ibrox win.
They followed that up with a deserved point against Kilmarnock on Saturday but Kilgallon admits his side need to maintain that form for the rest of this week as they look ahead to Wednesday’s Hearts clash then a Lanakrshire derby showdown with Motherwell on Saturday.
“It’s a big game for us on Boxing Day but Motherwell on Saturday is huge,” he said.
“They are around us in the table and lost again at the weekend. That’s brought all four of us at the bottom of the table closer together.
“We’ll be full of confidence after the last 120-odd minutes we’ve played. You can see a difference in us, we’ve lifted things from the second half at Ibrox and carried that on against Killie.
“Wednesday will interesting game. We’re in good form. Let’s see how we get on.”
The 1-1 draw with Killie means Hamilton boast just a two-point cushion on the relegation zone.
This is only the second time former Sheffield United, Sunderland and Blackburn centre-back Kilgallon has found himself battling at the wrong end of the table but he believes he can handle the strain.
“I’ve been through this type of thing before when I was at Sheffield United in the Premier League,” he explained. “Throughout the rest of my career I’ve usually been going the other way, looking up trying to get promotion out of the Championship.
“It’s definitely a different type of pressure.
“When you’re trying to climb the table, the message is ‘don’t lose’ because you don’t want to allow your rivals to get a march on you.
“When you’re in this position it’s ‘don’t make a mistake’ because you know it makes it all the harder to get back out of the hole you’re in.
“It’s definitely different – but you feel it all the same. I still get nervous before games.”