Bristol must take advantage of a home start to their Investec Champions Cup campaign, says director of rugby Pat Lam.
The Bears begin their European season against French Top 14 side Lyon on Saturday at Ashton Gate.
The club come into the game on the back a morale-boosting Premiership win over rivals Gloucester last weekend.
"For us it's about getting back to work and improving our game," Lam told BBC Radio Bristol.
"We've got a home game - everyone who has home games this weekend at the start of the competition has a real advantage if they choose to make the most of it."
Bristol are back in Europe's premier competition for the first time in two years.
Despite finishing ninth in the table last season and initially missing out on a place in the Champions Cup, the loss of London Irish moved the club up from the Challenge Cup.
"You've definitely got to win your home games but the first game's the biggest one in the Champions Cup. You get that then you go away with a lot of confidence," Lam said.
"We know how big this game is and an opportunity.
"The fans were great last week and that's the other thing we do talk about - making sure that we give our fans something to shout about early in the game."
Lam dismissed suggestions he would rotate his team with a fixture at Bordeaux to also come next week, and insisted he would field "the strongest team" possible.
Flanker Magnus Bradbury is available having not played since the loss to Bath on 17 November, while captain Fitz Harding has also been cleared to play after coming off in the win against Gloucester.
"Our experience of playing French teams in Champions Cup or Challenge Cup is they've always have quality individuals, they always bring physicality and when we've been successful it's our same old template.
"We play as the Bears, we play as one, then we can put pressure on them."