Nottingham skipper Brent Wilson wants a top-four finish for the Championship side this season.
The flanker from New Zealand told BBC Sport: "It's going to be an exciting year. I'm happy with the way things are looking at this stage.
"We were disappointed with last season, finishing fifth and missing out on fourth spot. We see it as possible to make that top four.
"It's got to be our goal this season to go one further and make the top four."
He was also full of praise for the club's new head coach Martin Haag: "He's just brought the squad closer together. He's only been in the job a short time but everything's been put in place.
Nottingham captain Brent Wilson
"We've got a good mixture of young players, some exciting talent and some old campaigners with a bit of experience and good heads on them."
"Players have been well informed about what he wants from us and what's required. It's just a really positive environment.
"The guys have responded and got a bit tighter as a group and things are looking good."
Wilson feels the stronger sense of unity has already paid off in Nottingham's pre-season matches.
"Our first game against London Irish showed defence is one of our strong points," he said.
"Last season we leaked a few soft tries so it was a major point for us to look out for this season. The early signs are all pretty good."
The captain also spoke of his confidence in the balance of the squad.
He said: "We've got a good mixture of young players, some exciting talent and some old campaigners with a bit of experience and good heads on them.
"There are good leaders throughout the squad, which makes my job easy through the season. All round we're looking pretty good."
Wilson joined Nottingham in November 2011, after a brief spell in his native New Zealand. Prior to that, Wilson spent five seasons at Newcastle Falcons.