Manager John Coleman claims Rochdale has improved after they secured a goalless opening day draw against Northampton at Spotland.
Coleman hailed his players after last weekend's 4-3 extra-time Capital One Cup defeat to Barnsley.
Dale, relegated after finishing bottom of League One last season, have rebuilt over the summer and fielded six players making their league debuts.
"I was scathing of my defence last week when we conceded four goals against Barnsley, but this week I have to praise them," said Coleman.
"Josh Lillis was magnificent in goal. He was positive from the start in attacking their balls into the box and his distribution was excellent. We knew it was going to be an aerial onslaught, but we managed it very well.
"They are a very good, well-organised side who cause a lot of problems from set plays, as Cardiff found to their cost in the Capital One Cup.
"But we stuck to our gameplan for we knew our football would create chances and on another day we'd have scored goals and won the game. We'll probably play worse than that this season and win."