Sunderland manager Roy Keane is confident that his side can aim higher than mere survival in the new Premier League season.
The Black Cats finished 15th last season, but Keane is hoping for better this term, having enjoyed a productive time in the transfer market this summer.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "I'm not here to dampen expectations. It's part of my job to have everyone going into the season believing we are going to have a good season.
"Whether that will be or not, I don't know, but I know that we have to look at it in a positive way and I've got to be honest and say that we go into this season with higher hopes than we had last season.
"Personally, I'm looking forward to it and I think we are a bit more confident here than we were last summer.
"I do know that going into this season we are obviously a lot wiser than last season.
"I think the expectation from the supporters will be a little higher. I think this time last year, the words on everyone's lips was survival.
"But this season I'm sure with the players we've got in and the fact that the players have had a year in the Premier League, we can look to do better."