Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Karl Henry believes the club is now considerably stronger than when they returned to the top flight last year.
The Molineux side began their second season back in the Barclays Premier League with a hard-fought but deserved 2-1 home win over rivals Stoke.
Their challenge this term is to better last season's 15th place and Henry is confident of improvement.
The Wolverhampton-born midfielder, 27, said: "Twelve months' experience is a long time in this league.
"Some of the games we played, and some of the hidings we got, I think we have all learned from. We're definitely a stronger team and added to that are a few new signings.
"It's a great start we've made. We're not going to get carried away but nonetheless it is a great start."
Goals from David Jones and debutant Steven Fletcher in quick succession before half-time proved enough despite an Abdoulaye Faye reply.
Stoke's record signing Kenwyne Jones hit the bar early on but he soon went off injured and Wolves squandered a number of chances that would have made victory more comfortable.
Stoke did enjoy some good possession in the second half but Wolves held on to record a win on the opening day of the season for the first time since 1999.
Henry said: "We've put that right and got an opening win on the first day of the season. Hopefully we can continue that for the next few games and kick on.
"It is one we wanted to win and felt we could win. It's a great feeling, three points, and it doesn't get much better than that.
"The manager told us the way we were going to beat them was to get the ball down and pass it - not get wrapped up in their game, which is a direct, long-ball style of play.
"We wanted to play our game and I felt we did that in the first half. We got the goals and then weathered the storm well in the second half. We're disappointed to concede a goal but nevertheless it is a good victory."