Gartside told BBC Radio Manchester: "It [promotion] is an absolute goal.
"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, but it's a goal we've set ourselves and it's got to happen as far as we're concerned."
Late goals from Kevin Davies and Chris Eagles sealed a 2-0 victory at the Reebok Stadium on Tuesday night.
Wanderers are playing in the second tier for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
Relegation from the top flight resulted in major changes to the playing staff, although Gartside remains convinced that the squad at Owen Coyle's disposal is strong enough to be challenging for promotion and can cope with the demands of the Championship.
"We knew that before we started and that's why we've got such a strong squad," he continued. "There are two players for every position and young players behind that. That's the way it's got to be.
"We've got a tremendous academy squad now. It showed on Saturday when they beat Arsenal 5-1. That's what the club is all about now, is bringing kids through."
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