Graham Turner highlighted several positives despite seeing his Shrewsbury side draw a blank after being held to a 0-0 draw by MK Dons.
Shrewsbury have been widely tipped to struggle by the bookmakers this season but they created the better chances against the Dons.
And had it not been for a series of fine second-half stops from visiting keeper David Martin, who twice denied John Marsden before somehow blocking a close-range effort from Aaron Wildig, Turner would have been even happier.
"The encouraging part about it is we can get better and that's the pleasing thing," said the vastly-experienced Turner. "It's always difficult on the first game.
"As a manager, you're never quite sure what your best side is, whether you've worked hard enough in pre-season, had enough games, whatever it is.
"It's not until you get two or three games into the season that you start to get a measure of yourselves.
"This was a good indication that we look fit, we looked strong, but we just needed a little bit more here and there."
Turner was pleased to see his team stand firm to register a clean sheet with new captain Tamika Mkandawire impressing while he also picked out the contribution of consistent left-back Joe Jacobson.
Turner added: "I thought we defended in the main quite well. There was one shot Chris Weale tipped over. I think it was going over anyway but it was a good stop.
"It's always good for defenders, good for a team, to keep a clean sheet, and we've worked hard as a team to achieve that. We just need a little bit more going forward now.
"I thought Tam played extremely well and Joe Jacobson had a superb game. In the second half he was dominant and he got into some great positions because we were in trouble a couple of times and his defending at the back post was absolutely first class."
Dons were on the backfoot for much of the second half before ending strongly, lifted by the introduction of Izale McLeod and George Baldock from the bench.
Both might have snatched a late winner with Baldock's well-struck drive helped over the bar by the alert Weale.
Dons boss Karl Robinson said: "We walk away from here with a point, something to build on.
"We kept a clean sheet against a side who had scored 10 goals here in their last three pre-season home games so to keep them down to nothing was a tall order.
"I thought we were the best team first half and we finished better but they had a spell at the start of the second half when they really tested us. Over the course of play, it was 60-40 to us so maybe it was a fair result."
Robinson added: "You get so many unpredictable results the first game of the season and we've got a point."