Rangers look a long way off the form they may need to get the better of two of last season's Premier league sides in the week ahead - but Lee Cook believes they have it in them to shrug off their recent dip in standards.
The Rs' promotion creden-tials face a severe test when they travel to Reading for Saturday evening's televised clash before taking on Cham-pionship leaders Birmingham City on Tuesday night.
A poor display at Swansea does not augur well for a trip to the Madejski Stadium where Reading have won all six of the league games so far.
The Rs drew 0-0 at the Liberty Stadium after failing to exploit their opponents' lack of a regular goalkeeper for 70 minutes of the match.
The Swans lost Dorus de Vries following a collision with Martin Rowlands and with no keeper on the bench, defender Alan Tate had to deputise in goal.
But the Rs failed to put the Swans under any pressure and were lucky to escape with a point.
Yet Cook is convinced we will see an improved Rangers this week more in keeping with the side that earned rave reviews at the start of the campaign.
"They are two massive games and because of that, I think that will lift us," Cook told the Gazette. "And if we can come out of them with four points or ideally six, it will give us a huge boost.
"Reading's a great ground to play in and with the game being live on Sky, it will be a big occasion and a great game to play in.
"They are expected to be in the top two at the end of the year, so it's going to be a big test for us.
"But I don't think the fact we are playing two of the top sides makes much difference because you can lose to a team at the bottom of the league and then beat a team at the top. Any game has the potential to be a tough one.
"But it will be a good sign if we do well against two of the fancied sides.
"It will be our second away game of the week and it's important we try and pick something up and not just go there and let Reading dictate."
Looking back on the Swansea game, Cook said: "It's the way we got the point that everybody was disappointed about.
"If we'd gone there and played half decently to get our point, then we would have been happy, but the atmosphere was a bit down afterwards.
"It was a performance the lads and the management were upset with because we didn't really test them enough.
"But I think these things happen. At the start, we were banging in quite a few goals but you get patches during a long season where you are going to dry up a little bit.
"On the positive side, we've looked strong defensively in the last three games, it's just a case of not scoring enough goals. Even so we scored twice on Saturday and maybe could have scored three or four, so we may not be far away from hitting top form again. A lot of it's to do with confidence. "Having already played Birmingham at St Andrews, I'm pretty confident we can beat them at Loftus Road, without a shadow of doubt, but before then we've got to go to Reading and put up a performance more than anything after Tuesday night's below-par display."
Cook does not expect Rangers to simply try and contain Steve Coppell's men to eke out another away point.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we went 4-4-2 again rather than play with one up front as we did at Swansea," he said.
"We won't go there just to hold out for a draw. We'll go to win the game."
Cook was substituted after an hour in midweek but feels he is getting back to his best form and is fully over last year's knee injury.
"The last three weeks, in training especially, I've really been feeling sharp and back to my old self," he said.
"The confidence is coming back and for a winger that has a big bearing on your performance.
"If you have ability and confidence, there should be no stopping you and I'm sure I'm capable of really high standards in these next few games."