Benetton Treviso captain Silvio Orlando insists they don't intend on being the Pool One whipping boys once again after successive whitewashes in the competition.
After three pool wins in the 200-04 campaign, the Italian side have lost 12 straight games on the bounce having been drawn in daunting groups.
But Italian international flanker Orlando says they are more equipped to compete in this season's tournament having been paired with Perpignan, Newport-Gwent Dragons and London Irish.
"Rugby is certainly on the way up in Italy and we feel that in a few years time we will be on the same level with the rest of the European club teams," he said.
"At the moment we are still slightly behind the other sides, but looking at the scores in the last few years shows we are certainly getting closer. Hopefully we can take a scalp in this season's competition and there's no reason why we can't do so.
"I think we have to target one or two home wins from our group and anything else away would be a bonus. It would be a tall order to qualify, but winning your home games is the start."
Despite Treviso's disappointing return in last season's competition, the Italian champions are hoping to build on two encouraging performances against former finalists Perpignan when they face London Irish for the first time in the opening weekend of matches.
"We ran Perpignan close and we can take heart out of that when we face them and the other two teams," added Orlando.
"It's important we begin well in our first game otherwise it can be a long run of games in front us."
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.