He said: "Our expectation level is to be as high as possible.
"We have lost some key players and are bringing in some younger players. That is the route the club is going to go down, so it is up to us to produce these young players and get them in the team - the signs so far have been encouraging.
"The expectation levels are obviously high, Hearts are the third biggest club in Scotland and we want to be challenging at the top of the table and do well in the cup.
"It is up to other clubs in the league to make it as difficult as possible.
"Maybe Celtic will be going to games thinking it doesn't matter because everyone has told them they are going to win the league.
"That is what I'm hoping for, I'm hoping there is complacency and teams can go and cash in on that complacency."