Midfielder Stephen Lowry believes last season's runners-up Linfield are better equipped to challenge for the Irish Premiership title this season.
Lowry headed the 65th-minute opener as Warren Feeney's men made it two wins from two by beating Carrick 3-0.
Aaron Burns made it 2-0 a minute later and Kirk Millar volleyed in the third.
"There is something different from last year. We are fitter and there is great desire and belief in the team," said Lowry.
"We dominated the first half but did not create that many chances.
"But we got better and stronger as the game went on.
"I think a lot of teams will struggle when they come here, but in the end we had just a bit too much for Carrick."
Lowry's goal was a powerful header from a Millar corner and Burns, who got two in Saturday's opening 3-0 win over Ballymena, turned in a Guy Bates ball for the second.
Millar then shot in for Linfield's third in the 78th minute after a throw had been flicked on.