Tranmere Rovers manager Les Parry has said that he will be disappointed if his side are not in the running for the play-offs near the end of next season, despite Rovers finishing 17th in Npower League One last time out.
The club have also lost two promising young players with rising star Dale Jennings moving to Bayern Munich and Aaron Creswell leaving for Ipswich Town.
Parry does, however, feel that the side is stronger than last season and, with the additions of Vinicius Dantas and Owan Williams, he feels promotion is a realistic target.
Speaking to BBC Radio Merseyside he said: “I'll be disappointed if by Easter we're not at least still in the running for a play-off place. With the players we've got and if we can stay clear of injuries, I think it's a realistic target. I'm really optimistic ahead of this season."
Npower League One will be one of the most fiercely competitive divisions in the country next term, with the likes Charlton Athletic, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday favourites to take up the top spots.
And, although Parry admits that a spot in the top eight may be a tad ambitious, he has high hopes for his current crop.
"It's a massive statement, but another argument might be that last season we did particularly well against the better sides," said Parry. "So the more good sides there are in the division, the better we're going to do. So you can look at it that way."