have something to prove

have something to prove

to need to show that you can succeed when people expect you to fail After two dismal seasons, the players on this team feel they have something to prove.
Usage notes: also used in the negative form have nothing to prove or not have anything to prove (to have no reason to persuade others you can succeed, because you have already succeeded): He was as famous as he wanted to be, and felt he no longer had anything to prove.
See also: have, prove
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking of the goals, he added "Quinn missed so many of those in training we thought he was defending and as for Theo having something to prove, every single player, myself and all the staff have something to prove every week.
They might have something to prove, but you can't put lipstick on a pig and turn it into a horse,'' said USC defensive end/zoologist Lawrence Jackson.
I think I have something to prove to myself and swimming is a part of that.
We all feel like we have something to prove and lot of respect to earn,'' said Pierce freshman linebacker Wes Anderson, a graduate of Vasquez High in Acton, who had eight tackles and an interception last week.