Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy believes his side are no longer the underdogs when it comes to the Black Country derby after taking a share of the spoils at The Hawthorns yesterday.
Twelve months ago McCarthy's side lost four of their five encounters with West Bromwich Albion including the two-legged semi-finals of the Championship play-offs.
But in an action-packed meeting yesterday Wolves showed just how far they have come under the former Ireland manager who believes the gulf between the sides is now much narrower.
He said: "To be honest the history of the results between these two sides has no bearing on this game and I am sick of people reminding me that we lost four of the last five. But I don't think there is any doubt now that we have come a long way and I said that to the players before the game.
"Last year we came here as underdogs but this time we came here matching them in terms of power, in terms of pace, in terms of technical ability."
McCarthy was full of praise for his young goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, whose 85th-minute penalty save ensured Wolves a share of the spoils.
He said: "Arguably his best save was from Teixiera and then for the penalty he guessed it right but I thought the first one was actually the better save but both, however, were vital.
"I also think the back four deserve a pat on the back - all of them. Hennessey is still very young but then Wayne Rooney was very young when he went to Manchester United and played.
"I just think if you are talented you can play whatever your age. Wayne has grown in stature. When he played against West Brom in the play-offs last season he looked nervy in the first game but he was excellent today - he kept the score down.
"Graham Stack from Reading has been excellent for him. He is a really bubbly character and I think he has helped Wayne develop his personality and his presence on the pitch."
McCarthy continued: "Albion had a really terrific start in the first half and yet we had our best two chances while they were having that spell.
"Then I think we had the better of the second half. I thought we were more dominant in the second half than they had been in the first and we had the chances."
McCarthy said he hoped Michael Kightly - who left the ground on crutches - would not be too much of a long-term injury problem.
He said: "He twisted his ankle as he was going through and getting bullied and bashed and whipped and kicked and thumped and stamped on and then apparently fell down in their box and gave a free kick away!
"We will assess it and it might need a scan but I don't think there is too much damage."