Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs believes Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Rangers could be a "blessing in disguise" for his side.
Rangers had previously lost all three league games against Hibs this season, but goals from Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller gave them a first win under new manager Stuart McCall.
Both sides could meet again over two legs in the Premiership play-offs.
"I think it could be what they [the players] needed, I really do," Stubbs told BBC Scotland.
"Sunday was a blip. It wasn't the wheels falling off.
"From when we've played them in the past it will be perceived that Rangers combated us and if that's what people think and feel, fine.
"We've lost one game against Rangers and beat them three times in the league, if that's what you call a psychological boost then so be it.
"But, we've still got seven games to play, we're still in the driving seat.
"If we had beat Rangers on Sunday they could have fell into the trap of thinking we're going to beat them no matter what. It could be a blessing in disguise.
"I'd rather be getting beat off them on Sunday than in the play-offs. It's a little marker in my players minds that they know that they've got to play at their top level to get a result."
Stubbs also says finishing second is not essential to Hibs promotion chances, even though it would mean less games to play in the the play-offs.
"It's beneficial in playing two less games," he said.
"I don't know the greater significance of it because if you finish in fourth and you go up no-one is going to ask any questions. If you finish in second and go up everyone will say it's a benefit.
"We'll just have to see where this battle takes us.
"I don't think we're interested how we get up, and I think the same thing would be said to Rangers, to Falkirk, to Queen of the South, to Raith if they manage to get in the play-offs. The same thing can be said to all of them.
"I don't think anybody is really bothered about how they go up, it's just about going up."