Caley Thistle manager John Robertson insists the Highlanders must play their part in ensuring Championship favourites Hearts are challenged for the title.
The Jambos are heavily fancied to bounce back at the first attempt, having suffered relegation from the Premiership last season.
Robbie Neilson has returned to Tynecastle fresh from steering Dundee United to the title last term, and has already made five new signings including Craig Gordon, Elliott Frear and former Caley Thistle winger Jordan Roberts.
Neilson has also retained the likes of Steven Naismith, Liam Boyce and Craig Halkett, with Robertson estimating his former club will have 10 times the budget of Caley Jags.
Robertson is eager not to allow the Edinburgh side to get it all their own way, and he said: “I keep hearing that Hearts are going to run away with it. That’s fine, people can say that and it’s up to them to try and make a case for that.
“We all know what Hearts will have – they will probably have around 10 times our budget.
“But I’m sure ourselves and the rest of the league will be looking to make it as competitive as possible.
“These stories that Hearts are going to go through the league unbeaten, I think is a wee bit disrespectful to the rest of the league.
“I’m sure most of the players won’t be thinking that way from their perspective.
“But it’s up to us – it’s not up to Hearts to decide what happens in this league. It’s up to every other club to make it competitive by taking points off them, and challenging as well as we can.
“I’m sure that will be the case.”
Robertson feels the recruitment of other second-tier teams shows they also intend to be in the mix, with Dundee bringing in former Scotland international Charlie Adam earlier this week, while Ayr United have signed former Inverness favourites Tom Walsh and Joe Chalmers.
Robertson added: “When you look around the league, Dunfermline have had a big cash injection and signed a lot of very experienced players.
“They will feel they will be competing this year. Dundee, as usual, are spending a lot of money and they will compete.
“Even the likes of Ayr United are signing a lot of experienced players, and Morton are the same.
“Everybody looks to have strengthened. It looks like it will be a really tough league.”