Malky Mackay insists Ross County simply have to roll their sleeves up and try to take as many points as they can from their daunting start to the cinch Premiership campaign.
The fixture list has not been kind to the Dingwall side, with their opening five games pitting them against last season’s top-five finishers – St Johnstone, Hibernian, Rangers, Aberdeen and Celtic.
County have taken only one point from their first three matches, and with their next two games taking them to Pittodrie on Sunday and Celtic Park after the international break, they face a tough task to to add to their tally.
Mackay was heartened by the way his side played in their 4-2 defeat at home to champions Rangers last weekend and is adamant they can not view their clashes with Aberdeen and Celtic as pointless exercises.
He said: “I jokingly said last weekend ‘thanks Neil!’ to (SPFL chief) Neil Doncaster because of the fixture list we’ve been given.
“It is what it is. We knew we’d be playing the top teams in the opening weeks of the season, but you get on with it.
“It’s the league. We’ve got to play everyone so after that comes a run of teams that will probably be more round about us, and by that time we’ll have more players in the door and everyone will have got to know each other a little better.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean points will be easier to come by because that would be disrespectful to the teams we play in the next cycle of games.
“We look for points in every game we play. We know we’ve got a tough start against the teams that finished in the top five spots last season, but you could see last Sunday that there wasn’t an unbelievable gulf between the two teams. It was a competitive game.”
After playing in front of a full house at the Global Energy Stadium last Sunday, Mackay is relishing the prospect of sending his team out in front of another big crowd at Pittodrie as they try to inflict a first league defeat of the season on Stephen Glass’s joint league leaders.
He said: “It’s a new-look Aberdeen, with a new manager, new assistant manager, fresh faces in the team, fairly new owner, so a slightly different Aberdeen we’ll be facing.
“It’s going to be another hard one for us but it’ll be terrific to Pittodrie with a big crowd there.
“It was terrific on Sunday just to have the noise of 5000 people in the stadium and this Sunday will be another big attendance. That’s something we’ve all missed over the last year or so, so I’ll be delighted to go and play another big game in a big atmosphere.”