Knights’ opening day clash at Coventry did not go to plan as they were beaten 39-22 at Butts Park Arena.
They will look to bounce back against London Scottish at Castle Park on Saturday – and Graham is eager for Knights to really kick on from last season.
“Reflecting on last season, we finished third and as brilliant an achievement as that was we are now focused on building,” said back row Graham, who won both the Players’ Player and Coaches’ Player of the Season last year.
“Every player at Castle Park is here to represent this fantastic club but also to develop and progress themselves on a rugby front.
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“We’ve got to pick up where we left off last year, to keep moving forward as players and as a club.
“We are aiming to be a really physical team, a team that no one can question the level of effort or intensity we play with.
“I think looking back on last year, we had a couple of games where we were in arm wrestles, which we shouldn’t have got into.
“This year is about really putting the foot on the throat and showing teams what we’re about and putting our game plan on to other people and being dominant.”
Graham’s role as skipper appears to have taken on extra significance following the departure of several experienced players over the summer, including Knights stalwarts Matt Challinor and Ben Hunter.
“I am very proud and quite a humbled by it,” said Graham on his appointment.
“They are massive shoes to fill from last year with Bomber [Robin Hislop] leading the team but also Chall who captained the side for so long and is so highly respected around the club.
“To fill that void is a huge challenge but also a massive honour and something to really get my teeth stuck into this year.
“I’m not going to get everything right because you never do and I’ll be learning on the job but in terms of what I do, not much changes. If I wasn’t captain, I would still be vocal and would still try to lead by example.”
Knights raced into a 10-0 lead at Coventry but the hosts powered back to win by five tries to three.