Watford boss Sean Dyche has said he has prepared his side to compete with the Championship's big spending clubs.
Dyche has made seven signings this summer, ahead of his first season in management.
"The challenge for us is we can't be the cherry-picked team," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.
"Leicester can cherry pick exactly who they want, when they want to do it, Cardiff and Ipswich are in that position, we're not."
The Hornets started their pre-season transfer activity in mid-June, with midfielder Craig Forsyth arriving from Dundee.
And the deals were completed just two days before Saturday's curtain raiser against Burnley, when trialist Tom James signed a six-month contract.
"We've had to wait for some of these deals to take time, to develop further and to secure the players we wanted," said Dyche.
"So it's fair to say it's going to take a bit time for that to settle and for those players to really buy in to what it's all about."
Dyche spent last season as assistant to Malky Mackay, who led the Hertfordshire side to a respectable season in the Championship, despite pre-season predictions of a relegation fight, before leaving to manage Cardiff.
The new man in charge is expecting to fight the same doubters this time around.
"It's fair to say, as in the last few seasons, we're the underdogs. People will be writing us off again," Dyche said.
"We're used to that by now, I think it's good fuel.
"I played at a few teams that weren't fancied down the years and you can surprise people, and a lot of that comes from belief in the camp."