Derby County boss Billy Davies insists they shouldn't be wrote off this season.
He said: "We are two years ahead of schedule without doubt and by being two years ahead of schedule we face what we face now.
"We don't need a siege mentality, not at all. We need to learn from the experience and accept in this division you can go a number of games without a victory. Ask me how I feel after 25 games. At the moment we're talking five games and two points (adrift). Last year promotion wasn't looking likely at this stage of the season. Promotion was 185-1 away.
He added: "I've said to the players this year's no different. Let them judge us at the end of the season and see where we are.
"This season is all about consolidation and getting to that magic number of 42 points.
"At 185-1 we did it and we were delighted to put this club in a hugely financial position and now we have got the hard work to do in this division."
And although the former Preston manager is confident that his players' experiences last year will stand them in good stead he does acknowledge the step in class represented by the move to Premier League football.
"We now how difficult the Championship is. It is a very difficult league with 13 or 14 teams that have recently played Premier League football, but this is a different level," said Davies.
"You're talking £25million, £27million even £29-30million for one player. We're talking players who are world renowned for the quality they've got.
"But it's a great challenge."