Losing in the Coca-Cola Championship playoffs last season could prove a blessing in disguise for West Bromwich Albion, says Jonathan Greening.
Although the captain was inconsolable after the Wembley defeat to Derby County 12 months ago, he now believes an extra year in the Championship will serve them better in the Premier League.
They play better football now that manager Tony Mowbray has had time for his ideas settle in, says Greening.
He said: "I think it has helped. The manager only had us for about six months before the play-off final but now that he has had us a bit longer and brought in some more players that he likes, we've had time to gel.
"This year we've played better than last. We've scored more than 100 goals and have always looked a threat going forward."
While the Baggies manager has made it clear that he will not glean inspiration from the promoted Championship teams who have struck upon a method of survival, he is cognisant that those who have made the step have shown that not just survival can be achieved.
He was part of the coaching staff at Ipswich Town in 2000 when the club finished fifth in the division and secured a place in Europe.
Greening agrees that this Albion side is capable more than merely keeping their heads above water. He said: "Reading and Wigan have shown what can happen if you invest right. The gaffer has got certain players that he likes and some of those that he has brought in have been brilliant. If he keeps bringing in good players, we have a great chance of staying up.
"We all know the Premier League is a very hard league but everyone wants to play there. We think we have a good team and we want to show what we can do in the Premier League.
"The first season is crucial. The first year after I came, we stayed up by the skin of our teeth via the Great Escape; the second season, we might have stayed up again if a couple of results had gone our way in the second half of the season when we played some good stuff."
One of the first of many players that will be linked with Albion throughout the course of the summer is Radoslaw Majewski, a point confirmed by Polish club Groclin.
They were quick to emphasise that no discussions have yet taken place.