Larne manager Tiernan Lynch views flexibility as key to continued forward steps at senior level for last season’s second-tier runaway champions.
Significant financial investment has placed increased expectations on Larne’s arrival in the Danske Bank Premiership but Lynch cites the value of small steps within the long-term journey.
Larne head into the home test with Dungannon Swifts aiming to enhance a return of 10 points from six appearances since stepping up the Irish League ladder.
“In the Championship last season we had long periods with everything going our way so it is about learning to adapt to the different challenges we now face,” said Lynch. “In the Premiership you very quickly learn you must be on your game or end up getting punished.
“Dungannon stand as a case-in-point given they will be hurting off recent results but we must prove meticulous in our work or risk setting things up for a fall.
“However, as we play more games and work more together on the training ground you can see things developing to adapt to this level.
“I see the players learning and improving in those aspects, which we view as huge positives.
“In different games we have had to adapt and adjust to different situations and circumstances - but that’s Premiership football.”
The Swifts’ early-season rise up the rankings has been tempered now by three consecutive league defeats at the cost of 12 goals conceded and the absence of anything on the Dungannon scoresheet.
“The past few weeks have been difficult but we must also look at the fact that against Crusaders, Coleraine and Cliftonville you are talking about three of the league’s most consistent top sides,” said Swifts boss Kris Lindsay. “But that does not excuse the manner in which we lost and that stands as the most disappointing aspect.
“There are harsh lessons to learn but losing by 3-0, 5-0 and 4-0 highlights the harsh lessons we must learn and the cost of individual errors.
“To concede one but other goals so quickly after is a worry, plus not forcing the opposition to work hard enough to score.
“But there is no need for pushing the panic button and in any league season you must anticipate setbacks.
“The important aspect is how a side reacts and certainly the players have previously been able to show the ability within the squad.”