Liverpool left back Fabio Aurelio has set his sights on returning to the top four this season, a position that would earn the club a return to the lucrative Champions League.
Back-to-back finishes outside the English elite positions left the Reds playing Europa League football last term and failing to qualify for European football for the coming campaign.
However, the defender is confident this summer's spending spree can help propel the club back towards the summit of the Barclays Premier League table, with a mood of excitement currently engulfing the Anfield outfit with days to go until the start of the 2011/12 season.
“The first target is getting in the Champions League. Once we get that, then we can look for more," said Aurelio.
“The mood among the players is excitement. I think everyone is anxious to start the season. Everyone is expecting a lot from us with the signings but we have to look at the long-term as well – a few new players have arrived and they’ll need time to settle in.
“Some of them already feel good in the red shirt so hopefully we can do well from the start of the season.”
The 31-year-old played his first 45 minutes of pre-season football in the 2-0 weekend win over Valencia, playing alongside £20 million winger Stewart Downing for the first time.
A good relationship between the pair could be key to the Brazilian playing more minutes on Merseyside this season, and Aurelio is confident the England international can have a positive impact on his other teammates at Anfield too.
“(Saturday) was the first time we have been together on the pitch and we coped well. There were good signs for the future," the full back continued.
“We needed players like him with pace on the wing. Especially because of his pace and technique, I think he’ll be a very good addition for us.”