But Gatland, back in his hometown of Hamilton, insists the second Test gives Wales the chance to prove their worth against the world's number one ranked side in front of arguably the globe's most fervent supporters.
"The first thing about playing New Zealand is not just about the results, it's the performance and earning some respect is key," said Gatland, who has made two changes to his starting XV by naming youngsters Jonathan Davies and Dan Biggar at centre and fly-half respectively.
"It's the number one priority for me on this tour. We've tried to earn that respect over the last couple of years and it was also very much the goal on the Lions tour to South Africa last year.
"We want respect from the All Blacks and then the New Zealand public and hope they will take us seriously after Saturday."
Gatland and his team have faced a tough time from the media over recent months but the Wales boss accepts that is par for the course and that the squad are still fully focused on playing to their potential, both now, and at next year's World Cup.
"We have been written off publicly but hands up, that's the way it is," added Gatland.
"We can't say anything to people who are questioning the ability of us to perform. We just have to keep our mouths shut and hopefully perform and play well this weekend. That would be a start for us.
"We have to acquit ourselves really well and I'd be disappointed if we don't perform to the level we're capable of doing and give a good account of ourselves."