Dixie Robinson is backing his Dungannon Swifts players to prove they aren’t one season wonders.
The Swifts finished in fifth spot last time round — a huge improvement from the previous campaign when they flirted with relegation.
Stangmore Park has become a rather strong fortress in the top flight and Robinson wants to keep it that way, but although a new season dawns with the Tyrone side visiting Newry City this afternoon, the Swifts boss will not be on the sidelines as he completes a three-match ban for throwing his coat down during an Irish Cup clash against Linfield last season.
“The suspension is unfortunate,” said Robinson. “But I’m looking forward to seeing the players perform this season.
“Although we finished fifth last season no-one will get carried away. We were involved in a relegation play-off before that so we had to establish ourselves in the top flight and now prove last season wasn’t just a flash in the pan.
“I’m confident we can keep moving in the right direction as our youth system will help us achieve that goal.”
Robinson has signed Ryan McCluskey, who was with the Swifts prior to two seasons at Portadown, but fans will be a little nervous after the departures of Rodney McAree, Neil McCafferty, Chris Morgan and Alvin Rouse.
“It’s all down to how the players approach the games and they will be rewarded if they work hard,” added Robinson.
“When you look at the teams that finished in the bottom six last season and realise how much they have strengthened then the size of the task really hits you.
“My targets don’t change — We’ll do the best we can.”