Warrenpoint Town stand one result away from matching last season’s unwanted record but manager Stephen McDonnell rejects all-too-easy parallels between past and present woe.
Six Danske Bank Premiership dates without victory left last season as a campaign under the cloud of a relegation threat before McDonnell managed to secure survival.
Now Warrenpoint face newly-promoted Carrick Rangers on five reverse league results in a row.
“Last season we were attempting to integrate lots of new faces and a certain style of play,” said McDonnell. “This season we’ve really suffered from significant injury issues and also met some of the Premiership’s top teams, so there are differences despite the comparisons in terms of results and points.
“Now we take on Carrick, a club more similar in quality than our previous opponents.
“Players are starting to come back from injury and we meet Carrick off really encouraging performances against Ballymena United and then Dollingstown in the Mid-Ulster Cup.
“It may sound crazy calling a 4-0 defeat to Ballymena our best performance of the season but we created something like 10 clearcut chances over the full 90-minute display.
“Then against Dollingstown in the cup we finished with our first win and first clean sheet, so all aspects on which to build.”
Niall Currie’s Carrick sit one win superior to Warrenpoint in the league standings following four defeats from five.
“Even at this very early stage of the season we are well aware of the importance of the game,” said Currie. “It is a game in our own league-within-a-league.
“We have to move on from an extremely disappointing performance in our midweek cup game to the level of performance in the previous league game against Ballymena, that’s the standard to keep striving towards.
“It is going to be a long, hard season but we go to a difficult venue this weekend knowing we are capable of getting a win over Warrenpoint.
“We have to keep believing but I’ve every faith.”