Liam Boyce insists it will take more than punditry or bookmakers’ odds to derail Cliftonville’s title focus this season.
The Reds are looking to become only the fourth club in Irish League history to defend the Gibson Cup.
Linfield, Glentoran and Portadown have all successfully retained the Premiership title in their respective histories.
Now Cliftonville are looking to add their name to that illustrious list.
The bookmakers believe Tommy Breslin’s side will have their work cut out, having installed Linfield as title favourites in 2013/14.
Many pundits also believe David Jeffrey’s Blues - who Cliftonville face at Windsor Park today - could be the team to beat this term.
Not that it matters much to Reds talisman Boyce.
“People said we didn’t have a chance last season, and we went on to win the title. So why can’t we do it again?” said the 22-year-old - who scored 36 goals last season.
“We don’t mind people putting down our chances. We don’t mind people talking about Linfield. That suits us if people are writing us off.
“We have a great squad of players at Solitude and we all believe. The determination is there to defend the title and shut everyone up. Nobody in our changing room will be taking their foot off the pedal.”
Boyce believes the pressure being heaped on Linfield will add more pressure onto the Blues.
The Windsor outfit kicked-off their season with a 1-1 draw against Portadown - a game which saw new signings Jonathan Tuffey, Matthew Clarke, Sean Ward and Aaron Burns make their debuts.
Looking ahead to today’s clash at Windsor, Boyce added: “It’s always a test there, but we’ll go to Windsor in confident mood.
“We got off to a winning start against Ards and while we were rusty, it was all about the win. We only played in patches, but there’s more to come from us.”
Meanwhile, also today Coleraine and Portadown meet at the Showgrounds as both teams look to record their first wins of the season.
Elsewhere Dungannon Swifts and Ballinamallard United meet at Stangmore Park looking to build on their respective opening day victories.
In the other game of the day Crusaders entertain Ballymena United at Seaview - both sides lost their opening fixtures.
* Full previews can be seen at www.newsletter.co.uk