Former Leicester City striker James Scowcroft is backing his old club to be promotion contenders again this season.
Scowcroft believes City manager Nigel Pearson is the right man to mastermind another promotion challenge after last season's play-off disappointment.
But Scowcroft warned it would be another campaign of attrition, and he urged patience.
"Nigel Pearson is a good manager," said Scowcroft, who now combines coaching at the Ipswich Town academy with a busy media portfolio.
"He is experienced and he knows what it takes to get out of the division. Hopefully, they will stick with him and just find that consistency and stability, and eventually they will get there.
"I think they have to be up and around there. They have a board that have put a lot of money into the club and they want a return.
"I am not sure how they will adhere to Financial Fair Play, but they will adapt.
"They have the infrastructure on and off the pitch, and the support, to be up there.
"You would have to say they should be in the top six because anything outside of that will be disappointing."
Scowcroft, who was part of the last City side to win promotion to the Premier League in 2003, watched a lot of the Championship last season.
He believes City were lacking that extra ingredient that would have turned them into automatic-promotion contenders.
"I saw loads of games in the Championship," he said. "It is a very tough league. Cardiff deserved to go up and Hull were consistent.
"Crystal Palace had a big dip towards the end but I thought, up until February time, they were one of the best teams. But I think the three best teams went up.
"Leicester were very up and down. At key moments I thought they lacked consistency. They never seemed to be able to get a run going.
"I saw them a few times and they got beat at Ipswich, at home to Charlton and a few other times.
"I just don't think they had enough to get over the finishing line. They didn't have enough to turn draws or narrow defeats into wins.
"The games I saw they lacked pace up front. They just missed a key ingredient."