Mark Robins would love a repeat of last season’s scoreline at home to Bournemouth, but accepts it’s a big ask.
James Vaughan, a big doubt for the game this time because of his calf problem, scored a hat trick in the 5-1 win on August 24 last year.
Adam Hammill and Adam Clayton got the other goals, with Marc Pugh scoring the consolation for the Cherries, who were adapting to life in the Championship following promotion.
Watch: Town reporter Doug Thomson on the season opener against Bournemouth
“The expectation might be that we can do the same again, and obviously that’s our aim,” said Robins.
“But they are certainly a different proposition now.
“They have a wealthy backer and they are spending money – £3m on Callum Wilson.
“They got a return on Lewis Grabban (sold to Norwich for £3m) and a knock-on for Adam Lallana (sold to Liverpool by Southampton for a reported £25m) so have a thriving business at the minute.
“Eddie Howe is methodical and does things in the right way, and that makes for a really good game.”
Striker Wilson, who played under Robins at Coventry, scored a hat trick in the 4-1 friendly win at Oxford a week ago.
Junior Stanislas, freshly arrived from Burnley, notched the other.
The inclusion of Vaughan by Town would seem unlikely since he has missed the last five friendlies.
Centre-back Anthony Gerrard’s pre-season has also been interrupted by a calf problem, and he has not played in any public warm-ups.
Oscar Gobern is coming back from a fractured toe and Harry Bunn has a hamstring injury.