The Welshman left Doncaster to take the Wanderers reins earlier in the week and was heartened by the response from his players, who battled back from a goal down after Jordan Rhodes had punished Bakary Sako's foul on Ruben Rochina from the penalty spot.
It was left to defender Roger Johnson to produce a deserved late equaliser from substitute Jamie O'Hara's cross - but Saunders felt his side were unfortunate to concede the first-half spot kick and merited all three points.
He told Sky Sports 1 afterwards: "I don't think it's a penalty. He's stuck his leg out but the lad's kicked his legs. Whether or not he stood on his toe, I don't know because I can't really see.
"It's a bit irresponsible, the challenge, and that's what wingers do when they have to go back into their own box. I've been talking about it all week - don't kill yourself. We're well in the game and we go and concede a penalty.
"We get a point and it's important we got off to a start where we haven't lost. I think we obviously need a few wins but that's a good start. I'm really pleased with that.
"We should have won. I thought we played really well. We had four or five chances in the first half and they had one attack after half an hour when Jordan Rhodes went through and kicked it round Carl.
"I thought we were a bit unlucky. We were getting balls across the face of the goal. The spirit, it was outstanding from everybody and that's what I want and it's also what the supporters want.
"In the second half, we pinned them in again and they never really troubled us. It was going to be set plays if they troubled us."