Tommy Breslin always knew Cliftonville hadn’t become a bad team overnight.
The Reds could only finish fifth in the Premiership last season following their historic back-to-back title campaigns.
The Solitude men did lift the League Cup and County Antrim Shield, but it was their league demise that was thrust under an unforgiving spotlight.
Fast-forward to this season and Cliftonville sit second in the table following three wins from three.
Breslin’s men have also yet to concede a single goal.
Asked whether his players were out to prove a point this term, Breslin said: “There is is certainly no need for any added motivation.
“Last season was frustrating because we lost so many players through injury. Players like Conor Devlin, Marc Smyth, Johnny Flynn, Chris Curran, Stevie Garrett, Ryan Catney – all players who would all have been regulars.
“If you took half of the Linfield or Crusaders team out then they would struggle too.
“So I think that played a massive part in our Premiership campaign last season.
“Now we are getting a lot of those lads back again and they are raring to go. They want to make up for lost time, and I am sure they want to try and win the title again.”
Despite their stellar start, Breslin is refusing to get carried away.
“It is only three games into a season of 38,” he added.
“We are only two weeks into the new season so there is a long way to go. Hopewfully we can keep things going.”