Danny Wilson is determined to guide Cardiff Blues into the top half of the Guinness PRO12 as the 2016-17 season looms.
Wales’ Capital Region kick-off the new campaign against Edinburgh at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (7.35pm).
They finished last season seventh in the league, narrowly missing out on qualification for the European Champions Cup, but are aiming to climb the table.
Steady progress is the order of the day for head coach Wilson and he knows the Blues must continue their fine form from the tail end of last season.
He said: “The way we finished last season - we won 10 out of our last 14 games - was testament to the progress we had made as a group.
“It showed the leadership model, the shared leadership model, we have here was coming to fruition with a number of our top players really driving standards and moving things along with a good coaching group.
“Ultimately the aim is to go one better than last year and get in the top six, that’s where the Champions Cup is but it’s a big challenge.
“If we can do that and build to be a future contender for top four then that’s great.
“It’s about small steps and making progress at the right time. It doesn’t happen overnight but slowly and surely.”
Two areas highlighted for improvement this season have been away form and defence and Wilson hopes it will make all the difference.
And he is also looking forward to new backs and attack coach Matt Sherratt bringing a new dimension to their game with ball in hand.
He continued: “This group showed their character and the fight we have to come back to finish games strongly, but certainly away from home we can’t give teams the leads we have in the past.
“We need to maintain our attacking record as a minimum, we had the second highest try scoring in the league last season and were top until the penultimate round.
“We have added to that coaching group with Matt Sherratt, who I know will bring a new dimension to our attacking game.
“We showed what we can do ball in hand and the style of rugby we want to play on our surface and that’s not going to change.
“We have to improve our defensive record and our form away from home – in particular the first 30-40 minutes.”
Don't miss a beat of the action in the heart of the Welsh Capital. Cardiff Blues take on Edinburgh on Saturday at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. For match-day tickets and season memberships click here.