Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin is clear on his aims for the new league season after declaring a top-four position the target.
The Dons finished 10th last season after qualifying for Europe for eight years running.
Goodwin is well aware of the demands of the Dons support as he prepares to kick off his first full season in charge with a trip to face cinch Premiership champions Celtic.
“We need a vast improvement on what happened last season,” the former Alloa and St Mirren manager said.
“Our main objective this year is to get back into the European competitions next season and to qualify for those kinds of games.
“We need to finish at least in the top four places in the league. That’s our main objective at the moment.
“We have got a very similar playing budget to the likes of Hibs and Hearts. We know that Hearts finished third in the table last year, so we should be up there competing with them this time around.
“Last season was extremely disappointing for everybody involved but this is a very new group. There’s no scars hanging around from last season.
“There’s no reason why this group of players can’t be positive and can’t be optimistic. The new lads have settled in really, really well.
“That has to be the target. I’m not going to come on here and say our aim is top six, I think the supporters would be up in arms if we spoke about that.
“Aberdeen is the third biggest supported club in the country and should be competing for the top three or four spaces every single season and that is what we want to get back to doing this year.”
Goodwin, whose side began the season with four wins and four clean sheets in the Premier Sports Cup, added: “I think for a club of this size we should always be looking to compete in the domestic cup competitions as well.
“So we’ve done well so far in the League Cup, we have qualified for the last 16. We want to get to Hampden on a regular basis and do that consistently.
“There are two competitions, the Scottish Cup and the League Cup that we should be aiming to try and win season on season. It’s never easy to win a cup competition every year, but we certainly should be putting ourselves in a position to compete.”