Chris Chester warned his Wakefield side that they are not the finished article after starting the new Super League season with a 28-6 win at newly-promoted Hull KR.
Trinity finished one point shy of the play-offs last year and are aiming to take the next step in 2018.
Chester’s side enjoyed a positive start as Tom Johnstone starred with a hat-trick on his comeback from a serious knee injury sustained last April.
The Wakefield head coach described Johnstone as “a special talent” but was less complimentary about his team’s display.
“It’s a good start but there’s still a hell of a lot of work to do,” he said.
“We’re a little bit further away than we thought in a few areas.
“We’re not the finished article and have got a hell of a job on this year to get into that top eight.”
Chester was back at KCOM Craven Park for the first time since he was sacked by Rovers in February 2016 but he insisted the manner of his departure did not make the result any sweeter.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the performance tonight,” he added.
“I’ve got fond memories here but my sole job now is to focus on winning games for Wakefield Trinity. I wish Hull KR all the best.
“It’s a big scalp because they’ll be very, very difficult to beat at home. We’re over the moon and delighted with that.”
Rovers secured promotion at the first attempt through the Qualifiers but they never recovered from Matty Marsh’s early yellow card.
Chris Clarkson went over in the second half to give the home fans something to celebrate on an otherwise miserable first night back in Super League.
Tim Sheens insisted Rovers were not far away despite the scoreline.
“Our execution was poor but our effort was good,” said the experienced Australian coach.
“We lost the game but we didn’t get beat.”
Veteran half-back Danny McGuire made his Hull KR debut after his high-profile move from Leeds but he was unable to inspire his new side.
“Danny was a bit out on his own at times, although in saying that I thought he tried too hard,” said Sheens.
“He came up with a lovely pass for the try for Chris but he tried to get things going all the time. I’ve had a talk with him about it.”