With Irish League football on a break, Linfield are in a familiar position under David Healy: top of the table with Northern Ireland's record goalscorer seeking to bring a fourth Danske Bank Premiership title in five years to Windsor Park.
Last season the Blues won the league in a truncated campaign and Healy appreciates there is every chance the current one will end prematurely as well.
In an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Healy has spoken about his feelings surrounding then and now, his comfort that Covid testing is to be introduced in the Premiership and how he feels his team have performed this term.
Having played 12 league games, the champions are two points clear of Larne, who have a match in hand, and three ahead of Crusaders. Healy's men have won nine, drawn at home to Glentoran in a thriller and lost away to Larne and Warrenpoint.
"I think we have started okay. I wouldn't say we are joyous or getting carried away but we have put ourselves in a decent position," said the Blues boss, who is set to lose midfielder Bastien Hery to League of Ireland outfit St Patrick's Athletic.
"Yes, there have been a couple of games where we underperformed but we are still in and around where we want and need to be.
"We would love to have three or four more points though we have a good total so far and have scored the most goals in the league this season even though at times we get accused of being a little bit negative. Certainly our record over the past few years shows we score a lot of goals and the players have continued that this season."
With the Irish League scheduled to return on January 23, following the Northern Ireland Football League Board's decision to postpone games until then in the wake of rising coronavirus cases, and the fixture list already well behind due to a government-enforced Christmas break plus a late start to the season, Healy is far from convinced all 38 games will take place in 2020/21.
With that in mind, the Linfield boss wants the authorities to look at how many games will actually be played this season and provide clubs with the earliest possible decision.
"If everyone looks at it with a little bit of reality, it will be hugely difficult and challenging for all clubs to play their full 38 games," he says.
"I would imagine over the next two, three or four weeks that the powers that be will need to sit down and assess that. You can't get to 19 or 20 games and say 'oh by the way, we are stopping the league after 22 games or 27 games'.
"There needs to be information passed to the clubs as quickly as possible to give them an understanding of what needs to be done or the number of points required to be successful this season. The IFA President, David Martin, is insisting on playing the Irish Cup so that will be more games to fit in.
"Of course we want to play all the games but the authorities need to be coming together and give clubs as much notice as possible about how many matches we can actually play here."
Healy is pleased that NIFL already have a curtailment policy in place this season regarding titles and European spots depending on how many matches are played. It is different from last term when Covid blew the whistle on the Irish League in March with seven games left. Linfield were four points clear at the top but it took three months for them to be named champions on a points-per-game basis after numerous disputes over how the season should end.
"People have different opinions on the way things were handled in March, April and May last year," said Healy.
"I thought it dragged on too long considering the situation we were in which then left the opportunity for people with self interest in their own clubs to have a say.
"Was it an ideal way to finish the season? Absolutely not. I was on record as saying that, so was our chairman (Roy McGivern) and us as a club. We wanted to finish the season but, at the time, unfortunately for the rest, we had put ourselves in a strong position and were four points clear at the top with seven games left. I know what transpired didn't go down well with some but there has to be an understanding that by then the majority of the games in the season had been played and we had earned our four point advantage and that gave us the opportunity to be crowned champions.
"This time around clubs are aware of what happens if we reach a certain number of games but we don't know which format is going to come into play. It is important for everyone to know that as quickly as possible."
On NIFL choosing to take a break at a time when the NI Executive are allowing top flight games to go ahead, Healy said: "I get why the authorities have taken the break. This is a judgement call by NIFL and the IFA and I believe it was for what they feel are the right reasons. Whether it is proved to be the correct decision we will only find out down the line as there is a fear that the break may be longer than two weeks.
"From starting the season when we did, the clubs have done an incredible job in putting protocols in place that were required and to deliver the number of games that we have done.
"The Covid numbers are high and football, like society, has to play its part in trying to keep numbers down as much as possible because too many families are losing loved ones."
Yesterday, NIFL and IFA officials met to discuss the implementation of a Covid testing programme for when the Premiership returns.
Healy said: "I think it is a positive move if we are going to continue to play that there is some sort of testing and a little bit of security for players, staff, officials and anyone else participating in the games.
"If we can get to the stage where we are playing games and it is safer and the majority of the players can stay healthy, that is good news.
"The most important issue here is the health and well being of players, staff and officials in football and the game doing what it can for everyone outside of football."