With the party expected to suffer a rout at May's European elections, Alistair Carmichael likened it to Aberdeen FC, which last week celebrated winning the Scottish League Cup - its first major piece of silverware in 19 years.
"Aberdeen Football Club turned their fortunes around with hard work, dedication and commitment and you know what? So can we," he told delegates at the Scottish LibDem conference in Aberdeen.
He said the LibDems should "celebrate" the changes they had undergone as a result of being in government with the Tories, not be afraid of them. "For all that we have changed, at our heart and in our soul we remain the same."