Kris Lindsay admits survival is Dungannon Swifts' first objective - but believes his players will be stronger for last season's troubles.
The 2019/20 campaign brought wildly fluctuating experiences for the County Tyrone club.
After ending the first month joint top, their form slumped spectacularly.
Just four points from a possible 42 between October and mid-January left them dangerously close to relegation.
But their fortunes then improved and they were well clear of the bottom two when the season ended abruptly in March.
So which Dungannon team will fans see in the coming months - the side that started and finished the truncated 2019/20 campaign so impressively, or the one that struggled badly through the winter?
Lindsay hopes it is the former and believes last season will have been a learning curve for his young squad.
"If you don't learn from those things, there is something wrong," he says.
"Losing all those games was a dreadful time but we came through the end of it and we will have learnt from it."
One issue last season was the loss of several key, experienced players the previous summer, while Daniel Hughes, their main striker, also missed much of the campaign through injury.
A young side struggled for consistency and several heavy defeats in October and November sapped morale.
Lindsay moved to address that in January, with signings like Caolan McAleer and Shane McGinty adding extra quality and know-how.
Both midfielders made big impacts as the Swifts pulled clear of trouble, finishing ninth.
In recent weeks, Lindsay has added two more - ex-Warrenpoint and Linfield forward Lorcan Forde and Dylan O'Kane, previously of Crusaders - while five players have departed over the summer, including on-loan trio Ryan Waide, Caomhan McGuinness and Ross Redman.
Lindsay adds: "We've a young squad but we are talented, mixed in with the experience of boys like Michael Carvill, Daniel Hughes and Dougie Wilson.
"We will not spend money on players that will not improve us, especially in these times when everyone has to be a bit more careful with regards to finances.
"I am happy with the squad - there are a lot of talented players there and now it is up to them to go and prove it on the pitch."
This will be Dungannon's 18th straight season in the top division since promotion back in 2003, but it has been more than a decade since they finished in the top half of the table.
Lindsay, heading in to his third season as Swifts boss since replacing Rodney McAree in September 2018, admits the priority this term will be survival.
"We are realistic - this season is going to be extremely difficult, with the top teams moving further away from everyone else with their investment and different things," he admits.
"So first and foremost, our aim has to be to stay in the League.
"Obviously you want that to be comfortable and you want to get points consistently and as early as you can and get that momentum going.
"If we do that, you don't know what will happen, but first and foremost we have to get those points on the board."
After a season out of the game, Terry Fitzpatrick emerged from retirement last season to clock up 11 appearances at the club he first joined back in 2000, taking his overall tally to 562 outings for Dungannon, for whom he scored 27 goals.