"This year we will have to reacclimatise in the Guinness Premiership and will try to win every game," said Barwell.
"Realistically though we will be content to finish high enough up the table to secure our status for the following year."
Head coach Jim Mallinder has loftier ambitions, however, with the former Sale full back determined to prove the critics wrong by finishing nearer the top rather the bottom of the table.
"We certainly don't want to be fighting relegation and worried about that," said Mallinder who, alongside Dorian West, led Saints to a convincing title win in National One last season.
"It is quite interesting looking at the predictions as most of them have us in the bottom three, so that is a good motivation for the team.
"You can understand why people are predicting us to be there. We've been in the first division for a season and it took Harlequins quite a long time to get off the mark and Leeds struggled last season, so it is going to be interesting to see where we will end up.
"We've enjoyed pre-season, and now we are down to the proper part of the game. It is going to be tough as there are 11 other good sides but the Premiership has got to be our focus and we will put everything into doing well in it."