Improving numbers on and off the pitch mean Kris Lindsay is starting to enjoy the benefits of being the boss following an initial transition period into Dungannon Swifts’ dugout.
Back-to-back league defeats to kick off a first taste of management were followed by five points from the following nine up for grabs.
However, victory over Institute last weekend left Lindsay with that winning feeling as a Danske Bank Premiership manager.
“It was great to get over the line and have that feeling back around the club,” said Lindsay. “Over the course of my time in charge we’ve managed to get a look at the vast majority of the squad due to games across different competitions or players missing off injury and suspension.
“Getting to watch players out on the pitch in competitive play has helped me learn more about the squad.
“Plus, of course, minutes on the pitch help everyone and you need that competition for places moving forward.
“That is how you keep progressing and to sit now outside the bottom two in the table is a great lift.
“But we still have a long way to go and must achieve the consistency of those results week in, week out.
“We have had to show great character at times and it remains pretty tight so we want to build on that improvement.”
Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell returns home having picked up successive away-day draws against Linfield and Glenavon, the two current title favourites.
Now Warrenpoint welcome Dungannon in the knowledge defeat would allow the Swifts to swap spots with the home side in the standings.
“It’s a different challenge now and we cannot afford to lose,” said McDonnell. “It is about trying to take points off the teams around us and not allow them to gain ground.
“Ultimately, there is no point coming away with something from games against Linfield and Glenavon if we lose to Dungannon.
“That would be a case of throwing away those past two weeks.
“But Dungannon have never been cut adrift and come to us confident thanks to recent results.
“We go into the match down to the bare bones and stand stretched for probably the first time this season.
“However, we also stand a few months into working with this group so players should now know what is required from various roles and we have full faith if it is a case of calling on someone to operate out of a traditional position.”