Northampton Saints full-back Ben Foden says his side have a better chance of success this season.
The 27-year-old helped last season's play-off semi-finallists to a
24-19 win at Gloucester
in their first Premiership match last weekend.
"I feel better about this squad than I have in previous years. There's a lot more strength in depth.
"We've been written off but we stand a better chance this year."
He added: "The new players have got some big shoes to fill but we've still got the same attitude and mentality."
Foden, who has 30 England caps, knows that he has younger players in the team looking up to him.
"I have to realise there's an extra degree of responsibiltity with guys looking at me to lead and I'm ready to take that on," he said.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder agrees that Saints' options throughout the team have increased on last season, even with Courtney Lawes, James Craig, Jamie Elliott and Sam Dickinson out injured.
"We have made a few changes this year," he said.
"A couple of the senior centres leaving has made a difference, but the players we've brought in are quality and give us something else in how we play the game.
"We've got a couple of people still injured and they're making good progress.
"You've got to look at rewarding the good players, but there was a lot of good play last Saturday as well, and you don't want to make too many changes."