The West Yorkshire club have been regular top-four finishers in recent years coming third last term when they reached the Super League semi-finals before missing out on a maiden Grand Final appearance after losing at Wigan Warriors.
Indeed, in 2013, they even won the League Leaders’ Shield but Scotland international Brough maintains 2016 is going to be tough for Paul Anderson’s side.
The prolific stand-off, who turns 33 on Friday, said: “We’re under no illusions; we’re pretty thin on troops this season up to now so we’ve just got to get two or three wins out of our first four games and our main goal is to secure a top-eight spot.
“That’s not me playing things down at all. We haven’t been out on the field yet all pre-season.
“Our first (friendly) game is this Sunday on 17th of January.
“All the teams have strengthened around us so we have to play some really good rugby and grind some wins out this to secure that top-eight spot.
“I don’t think there’s an easy game this year so every round for us is a Grand Final.
“If we don’t take it like that we’ll end up fighting in that bottom four against the Championship top-four.
“It’s closer than people think at the back end of the season. Anyone can win on any day and we need to get out and secure that top-eight before trying to kick on from there.”
Huddersfield, who start at St Helens on February 5, have signed New Zealand World Cup-winning prop Sam Rapira and Melbourne Storm hooker Ryan Hinchliffe from the NRL while seeing forward Larne Patrick return from a season-long loan at Wigan.
But they have also witnessed Craig Kopczak, Shaun Lunt, Chris Bailey, Jodie Broughton, Jack Hughes and Anthony Mullally all depart from last season’s main squad, plus vice-captain Brett Ferres who was sold to champions Leeds Rhinos last week after allegations about the England second-row’s private life.
On Ferres, Brough added: “He’s an international back-row so I don’t know if you can say it’s good business or not strengthening Leeds.
“But things happen and you have got to do what you have to do and then move on.
“Brett’s gone and any back-row that comes in or, if we put Ukuma Ta’ai there, will do a good job.
“But we do have to just knuckle down and will be looking to start well against Hull KR this weekend.”