Cambridge United chief executive Jez George says the club "have got to challenge" for promotion from League Two this season.
The U's finished 19th last season but have signed 10 players this summer, the latest being midfielder Conor Newton.
"We've got to challenge (for promotion) - that's what we want to do," George told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
"If you're not going for promotion in this league you're looking over your shoulder, as we know last year."
Cambridge offloaded a whole host of players at the end of last season and have brought in a number of replacements who spent the previous campaign in League One.
They include Luke Berry, Elliot Omozusi and Keith Keane, while they have also brought in Barry Corr, who signed from recently promoted Southend.
"We're really pleased with where we sit now. I think it's better than we could have hoped for when we started the process," added George, who has previously managed the club.
"There are probably one or two players that we spoke to that have gone to another club in our league for more money, but maybe a couple that we've chased the hardest have gone to the league above and that's fair play to them.
"I think it just needs to continue to go in an upward trajectory on and off the pitch."
Corr was one of manager Richard Money's first close season additions and George believes that has been a catalyst for what has happened since.
"I got on a plane to America on the Saturday and Wycombe were winning the play-off final, and I'll be honest, I thought our only chance of signing Barry Corr is if Wycombe won the game. By the time I'd landed I saw the result and that Southend had won on penalties.
"But massive credit to Richard, he met him very soon after that game and sold him the club, the vision, how we're going to play and his role in the team.
"He was a great coup for us and came at a time when we really wanted to make a statement of intent. Good players attract more good players."