Matthew Tipton is adopting a philosophical approach to Portadown’s daunting early-season schedule.
The Ports kicked off their 2021/22 campaign with a 1-1 draw against derby rivals Glenavon on Friday night.
Next up it’s a trip to Seaview to face Crusaders on Tuesday night, before back-to-back home games against Larne and Linfield.
“On paper (the start hasn’t been kind to us). But we’ll embrace it,” Tipton told the BBC.
“We go to Seaview on Tuesday, and last season we didn’t have a great time there. It was probably our poorest performance of the season.
“But that’s gone now, and all we can do is go into that game and attack it, as we did last night (against Glenavon.
“Then we will prepare for Larne the following Saturday and Linfield the next, and in between we have a Mid Ulster Cup game.”
Tipton believes Portadown should be “crying out” for fixtures against the so-called top sides after spending three years in the Championship.
The Ports were relegated in 2017 and had to wait until 2020 to book their return to the top flight.
“Look, at the end of the day, we were in the Championship for three years, and we were crying out to play Linfield, Glentoran, Crusaders, Cliftonville and all the other Premiership teams,” Tipton added.
“So we won’t complain about having to play four tough fixtures, because let me tell you, the other seven after that will be as tough if not tougher, because we will be more expected to pick up points.
“We have Carrick, Warrenpoint and then Dungannon coming up. And if we don’t get any joy over those next few games then that adds pressure.
“So now we need to go and give our best over the next three games and see where we go from there.”