Mariano Sambucetti says Bristol's top-of-the-table clash with London Welsh will test their promotion credentials.
Bristol are three points ahead of Friday's opponents at the summit of the Championship and have won six of their seven games this season.
"We've been in this tournament long enough to know that it's not decided now," the 31-year-old lock told BBC Points West.
"But this is a great test as London Welsh are one of the strongest teams."
Sambucetti is now in his fifth season with Bristol, and was part of the squad that was relegated from the Premiership in 2008/09 season.
They have unable to regain their top-flight status since then but the Argentine believes they are on course to return this term.
"We've worked very hard, in an orderly fashion and we've set a culture of sacrifice and humility amongst the camp and that's something that usually pays dividend.
"Maybe it is paying off sooner than we thought but we need to keep our feet on the ground.
"We need to reach our form when it most matters but you can't just say it's decided at the end of the year and build a team two months before the play-offs. I believe we are going the right way and we will keep improving.
He added: "I'd love us to get Bristol back in the Premiership. I think this is a Premiership club, and a city that must have a Premiership team.
"If you look at the rugby base that there is around this city it is crazy that we are not there yet.
"It's just a question of working on it and it would be brilliant to continue playing for the club and at the highest standard. I believe we are on the right path."