Ian Grieve says Bristol have moved on from the off-field problems that have surrounded the club in recent years.
After failing to win promotion to the Premiership in 2009-10, Bristol were hit by financial concerns and a number of key players left the club.
They claimed eighth place in the Championship last term and finished bottom of their play-off group.
"The club's a lot happier, there's no off-field problems which is positive," captain Grieve told BBC Radio Bristol.
"We had to get that out the way. It was one of the things that we put our foot down and said in pre-season 'that's done - let's move on'."
Under the guidance of new head coach Liam Middleton, Bristol started this year's campaign with a 38-12 away win at Doncaster.
"All pre-season we knew the Doncaster game was going to be massive for us," said Grieves.
"Having played there two years and not got a result at all, we knew it would be an achievement if we did do it.
"We came away with a try bonus point but the guys are keeping their feet on the ground.
"It shows what the squad can do when we put our mind to it."
They host London Scottish on Sunday on what will be Middleton's first home game since he was promoted from academy coach.
"It's going to be a physical game - we don't know much about them so they're probably going to put some surprises on us," added Grieve.
"There's two players that used to be here - Josh Brown and Alex Clarke - and they'll be wanting get one up on their old club.
"This is our first game at the Mem, we want to get a big crowd and we want a win as much for them as ourselves."