Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda is confident his SCG Muang Thong United will not repeat the mistakes made by fellow Thai Premier League side Buriram United in the AFC Champions League last season, despite the daunting challenge they face in Group F this year.
Last year, Buriram, who were then Thai champions, opened their continental campaign with impressive back-to-back wins over J-League champions Kashiwa Reysol and Chinese Super League winners Guangzhou Evergrande, only to lose their next four games and miss out on a place in the round of 16.
And, despite Muang Thong being drawn to face Chinese double winners Guangzhou, South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Japan's Urawa Reds, Teerasil feels Muang Thong are in a better position to mount a challenge.
"I watched Buriram last year and now it is my turn to play in such a big competition," last season's TPL top scorer said.
"Buriram won the first two games last year and had a lot of confidence but they were unable to maintain that. Maybe they had some problems within the team and they lost the last four games but I feel this will not happen to us.
"Every team in the AFC Champions League is a big team and it is a great opportunity to play against the best teams in Asia. It is our chance to learn from other teams and adapt the Thai way of playing to other teams."
Teerasil will certainly be one of the players to watch in the AFC Champions League this season after following up his 24 goals in the TPL last season by finishing as the top scorer at the AFF Suzuki Cup, in which Thailand lost in the final to Singapore.
"I worked very hard last season. Muang Thong had a lot of investment in the team through sponsorship and that allowed the club to buy more good players," the 24-year-old said.
"This helps improve the team but it also means that I have to work harder to keep my place as there is a lot more competition. You have to earn the right to play."
Having spent time in England with Manchester City earlier in his career, Teerasil enjoyed a two-week stint with Spanish side Atletico Madrid at the start of the year before returning to the Kirins.
"It was a very good experience. I learnt a lot about the speed of play and Spanish style and I know what I need to improve," he said.
Muang Thong begin their 2013 AFC Champions League campaign at home to 2006 champions Jeonbuk on Tuesday before travelling to Japan to face 2007 winners Urawa at the start of March.
They will be without Thailand goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan for the group stage, though, after he suffered a broken leg during a pre-season tournament.
Buriram United will open their campaign at Japan's Velgalta Sendai, also on Tuesday, with China's Jiangsu Sainty and South Korea's FC Seoul the other teams in Group E.
The top two teams from each of the eight groups advance to the knock-out stages.