Gus Poyet believes he has a better team than last season after watching Brighton sweep Barnsley aside 5-1 at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls went into the game having not scored in their previous three league and cup matches but they found their shooting boots against a poor Barnsley side.
Brighton were 2-0 up after only 14 minutes with goals from Ashley Barnes and former England defender Wayne Bridge, with Barnsley keeper David Gonzalez at fault on both occasions.
Gonzalez, who played briefly for the Seagulls last season, dropped a free-kick by Craig Noone for Barnes to tap in after three minutes and Bridge beat the Colombian to his left with a low drive from 25 yards.
Barnsley pulled a goal back with a 36th-minute penalty from Craig Davies after Andrew Crofts fouled Jacob Mellis, but Craig Mackail-Smith got the final touch from a Barnes shot a minute later.
Record signing Mackail-Smith struck again four minutes after the break with a close-range header and Barnes completed the rout nine minutes from time by drilling in a cross by substitute Kazenga LuaLua at the near post.
Poyet said: "I think we have a better team because of the new players we have signed. We are much more aggressive and more dangerous going forward but we need to be solid as well. The key to it is to produce clean sheets.
"Everything went our way and Barnsley were the ones to pay. But it's about the next 43 games. It was a key game, a tricky one, and if something goes against you in a game like this you can be in a bad situation."
Barnsley manager Keith Hill admitted the best course for his team after this drubbing was to take their medicine and move on. He confessed: "We had 12 players out but I have no excuses whatsoever. It was inept and I include myself in that."
Hill was disappointed that his men gave Brighton the opportunity to win the game more comfortably than they should have. He said: "The opposition were excellent and it could have been up to 10-1. There was not too much I could say to the players as it was disappointing they did not accept the challenge before the game."
- Ashley Barnes