Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell says the Staggies must aim to punch above their weight rather than set out solely for Premiership survival this season.
County begin their second successive top-flight campaign at home to Motherwell on Monday, after finishing 10th last time around in a season which was ended early due to coronavirus.
Kettlewell has made five new additions, and is hopeful of completing the loan signing of Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan within the next 24 hours.
Kettlewell, who is now in sole charge of County after previous co-manager Steven Ferguson became the club’s chief executive, is hopeful the Dingwall side can kick on from last season.
Kettlewell said: “First and foremost we all want to stay in the Premiership, we want to have a seat at the top table.
“For me personally, I have ambitions and I know that the players and the rest of the staff do.
“It’s not just about surviving in the Premiership, we would like to shock a few people along the way.
“There is a budget aspect and the question is whether we can punch above our weight.
“These are things we always speak about at this football club.
“We’ve had a brilliant journey over the last 10 years from where we’ve been able to take this football club and some really memorable occasions. We’ve had cup success and finished fifth in the league.”
Kettlewell draws inspiration from other clubs who have shown modest budgets are no barrier to success in recent times, adding: “I used Livingston as the example last season where they caught fire and continued that and nobody would have pitched where they finished. It was the same with Motherwell finishing third.
“It’s all based on momentum and if you can get that at the start of the season then who knows?
“I won’t put a number on it or give out a position on the league table that we will target but I genuinely expect from the group I see in front of me to be better than just survival.
“We don’t want to be trying to cling on by our fingernails.
“If you find yourself in that position then you look to try and make it better.”
Kettlewell is confident of completing a deal to sign 22-year-old Doohan in time for Monday’s visit of the Steelmen.
Doohan, who has spent the last two years on loan at Ayr United, played as a trialist for County in a closed doors friendly against his parent club on Sunday.
Kettlewell expects Doohan to be his final piece of summer transfer business, adding: “I would hope in the next 24 hours we could tie that one up and make it official.
“Once that’s done, I’ll be delighted with what I’ve been able to get in. I think we’ve got real options in every position.”