Adelaide United must embrace being the hunted, not the hunter, when they seek to defend their A-League championship, striker Bruce Djite says.
The Reds regathered on Monday for the start of pre-season training with Djite certain they will have to improve to become the first club to win consecutive championships.
"If we stay the same, then everyone else will probably improve," Djite told reporters.
"It's different being the hunter and not the hunted."
Djite said United would have a collective target on its back during the season, which starts in October.
"Obviously every game we're going to play, teams are going to motivate themselves in terms of playing the defending champions and that always makes the game tougher," he said.
"It's hard to get to the top ... but it's much harder to stay there.
"But it's a fantastic challenge and we look forward to it."