West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mow-bray says his side's improved bond will make them a tougher proposition in the race to secure an automatic passage to the Premier League and banish the mistakes of last season.
It was roughly 12 months ago that Albion's form took a dip and their Coca-Cola Championship promotion challenge stuttered to such an extent that their hopes became pinned on the lottery of the play-offs.
They had looked like near-certainties to go up and, at a similar stage a year on, they do again.
But Mowbray insists comparing the Albion class of 2006-07 with their much-changed counterparts of this season is not an accurate way of gauging how his side will fare in the all-important run-in.
It is all about prioritising now but the manager believes there is a better spirit within his current side, which will only stand them in good stead.
The manager hailed his players' character and belief after coming from behind to rescue a point against Cardiff a couple of weeks ago and to defeat Burnley last Saturday.
Mowbray said: "I am sure there were instances 12 months ago when we came back from a goal down. We had a good team then.
"I do not want to get caught up in a 'now and then' scenario because I really enjoyed working with that team but I think this year there is more spirit about the team.
"I am not going to sit here and be over-negative about last year's side because we achieved some great things.
"We scored 100 goals and entertained all the way.
"OK, we fell at the last hurdle but we did a lot of good things."
Albion are again the most entertaining side in the division and its top scorers.
They could well reach the heady heights of last season if they average just more than two goals a game for their remaining 16 league matches.
But thinking along those speculative lines is pointless, according to Mowbray.
He added: "I tend not to be that analytical to be honest. I do not how many wins or goals it is going to take.
"The league is still very tight and we have to keep things in perspective.
"We are only two points ahead and one win away from third place.
"Any given weekend we could fall out the top places so we just have to stay focused on winning football matches. There's a long way to go.
"With ten games to go last year we were sitting top. There is still a fair way to go before we even get to that stage and we didn't make it last year.
"We still have cup games to come too, which last year hurt us a little bit and we have to hope that that doesn't hurt this year."
Mowbray does not want to get drawn into a "now or then scenario" but the scars of last year and avoiding re-opening them is clearly not far from his thoughts.
Meanwhile, former Albion manager Gary Megson is eager to make Zoltan Gera a part of his Bolton Wanderers revolution.
Megson was the man responsible for bringing the Hungarian into English football when he was at The Hawthorns and, with Gera due to fall out of contract in the summer and become available on a Bosman free transfer, wants to be reunited with him.
Much will depend on what happens between now and the end of the season.
Bolton have to ensure they are playing in the Premiership next season, while the Baggies are hopeful that Gera will sign a new deal if they win promotion.
* Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley has been been named the Coca-Cola Championship's Powerade Player of the Month for January. The Wales international, who is reported to have attracted interest from Premier League clubs, scored four times in a month which saw the Bluebirds remain unbeaten in the league.
* Gary McAllister has revealed former Bolton Wanderers manager Sammy Lee was his first choice to become his assistant at Leeds United.
But Lee is currently in a compensation wrangle with the Premier League club and McAllister turned to former Coventry City colleague Steve Staunton, who was named on Monday, instead.